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World Trade Center BASE Jumpers Acquitted Of Burglary, Guilty On Lesser Charges

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Three men who parachuted off 1 World Trade Center were found guilty Monday of reckless endangerment and BASE jumping but acquitted of more serious felony burglary charges.

James Brady, 33, Marko Markovich, 28, and Andrew Rossig, 28, admitted to leaping from the nation's tallest building in September 2013, but insisted they did not put the public in danger because they were experienced jumpers. Prosecutors charged them with burglary, saying they entered a building illegally with an intention to commit another crime: parachuting from the skyscraper.

"In the nearly two years since this BASE jump occurred, the three men who parachuted off One World Trade Center have yet to acknowledge the dangerousness or cost of their actions," District Attorney Cy Vance said in a news release. "The defendants took pride in their perceived accomplishment, and seemed to relish evasion of authorities. Today, a jury found their stunt to be reckless and illegal."

The reckless endangerment and BASE jumping offenses are misdemeanors. Brady and Rossig are expected to be sentenced Aug. 10, and Markovich on Aug. 17.

Authorities said Markovich, Brady and Rossig squeezed through a hole in a fence and climbed 104 flights of stairs. The three spent about four hours enjoying the views before taking what they portrayed as a careful, 3 a.m. plunge by experienced jumpers over deserted streets.

A video of the jump was posted on YouTube, and surveillance video captured the jumpers landing in front of the Goldman Sachs building.

Another defendant, Kyle Hartwell -- the group's alleged lookout -- is being tried separately.

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