Alibi defense

Williamsport, Pa. – Video gaming records could hold the key to exonerating a Williamsport man charged with burglary.

Cecil P. Thompson, 29, is accused by Williamsport Police of holding three juveniles and an adult at gunpoint after allegedly forcing his way into a home in the 900 Block of High Street, Williamsport, on May 18.

In a notice of alibi defense, attorney Howard B. Gold said Xbox records will prove that his client was playing video games at the time of the alleged crime.

"The Defendant avers that at the time of the alleged crime on May 18, 2020 the Defendant was playing XOBOX online," Gold wrote. "The Defendant intends to present XBOX records which will show the duration of the online gaming."

Gold doesn't indicate the type of Xbox system used by Thompson but newer systems, such as the Xbox One, scan biometrics to sign players in. Xbox's Kinect sensor records players' facial features and body shape.

Thompson's video gaming records join a growing list of evidence that appears to exonerate him. Fingerprints pulled from the crime scene aren't a match to Thompson either, state police determined last September.

Related reading: Family held at gunpoint during home invasion: Williamsport PD

"If Mr. Thompson was the perpetrator those fingerprints would have been his; they were not," Gold said at the time. "Based on this, the likelihood of a conviction has substantially fallen, and the Commonwealth's case teeters on a precipice."

In light of the fingerprint report and a number of other factors, Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio decreased Thompson's bail by $725,000 on Nov. 24. Thompson posted $25,000 monetary bail the same day.

When lowering Thompson's bail, Lovecchio pointed out that Lycoming County Sheriff Mark Lusk previously released Thompson because he didn't fit the suspect's description. 

Related reading: Bail reduced by $725,000 after fingerprints left at home invasion scene not a match to suspect

Charged with one felony count each of burglary and criminal trespass, and three felony counts of unlawful restraint of a minor, Thompson is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing before Lovecchio on March 2. 

He's also charged with 11 additional misdemeanors in connection to the incident.

Docket sheet