It appears as if Christmas will go off without a hitch this year as Santa Claus has been set free from his Perry Square prison cell and sent on his way. The decision came after a lengthy hearing Monday at the Erie County Courthouse. “We are just relieved that my client has been cleared of these ridiculous charges,” Santa’s attorney said. The mood was tense early in the hearing as the prosecution seemed to be gaining some headway. “Here we have a man, who openly admits that he watches people when they’re sleeping and knows when they’re awake?” the prosecution said during opening arguments. “He then goes on to make veiled threats saying ‘You’d better be good for goodness sake.’ and ‘You’d better watch out.’ “This new perspective seemed to win points with the judge, but at the end of the day it was the defense making the most convincing argument. “I would have been placed on the naughty list if I convicted him,” the presiding judge released in a statement. Despite the blatant blackmail, there is not expected to be an appeal.