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Trial underway for one of four people charged with murder during burglary in Niles

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WARREN, Ohio - The trial is underway for one of four people charged with murder during a bungled home burglary in Niles.

Thirty-four-year old Michael Burns is charged with murder in the death of his alleged accomplice in a burglary at a home on Niles Cortland Road on July 12th.

Burns did not pull the trigger however.

The home owner, Roy Hahn, used this shotgun to shoot through the door of his home after he heard people breaking in during the middle of the night.

"I got up and walked in the kitchen and someone was prying the door open," Hahn said,

But that single rifle slug struck 36-year-old Terry D. Allen from Mineral Ridge.

Detective Jim Robbins testified how Allen was clothed in camouflage and was wearing gloves.

But attorney Ron Yarwood says his client told the detective he and four others were trying to take copper from the home, but didn't realize it was occupied.

But prosecuting attorney Chris Becker says the home has been occupied for at least the last 15 years or more. He pointed to a rug that had been laundered and hung out to dry, and a mailbox at the end of the road and water bowls on the porch for a dog that suggested the home was occupied.

And the homeowner, who did the shooting, says he yelled out for his girlfriend but no one answered.

The defense attorney says if the homeowner had turned on a light or made noise the burglars would have left.

But the homeowner, who is not on trial, defended his actions. "They had latex gloves on and crowbars. If they're coming at 12:30 at night I don't think they're coming for coffee and tea," Hahn said.

Terry Allen's wife Nicole and two others also face a murder charge in the death of their accomplice in crime.

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