Pauls Valley Democrat
One robbery defendant failing to make his own sentencing earlier this week now faces a quick turnaround in a Pauls Valley courtroom.
A brand new arrest warrant and bond total were issued for Jonathon Smith, 24, when he didn’t appear at a Monday morning sentencing in Garvin County District Court.
Hours later Smith did make it to court as a judge quickly reset the sentencing hearing for one of two time slots on Monday, Nov. 25.
Smith has admitted to taking part in a plot to break in and rob alleged drug dealers in two Garvin County homes almost exactly three years ago.
Only hours apart, it was Nov. 14-15, 2010 when four masked men, all armed with weapons, forced their way in to burglarize homes in Pauls Valley and Elmore City.
A fifth man served as the driver in the two heists that resulted in a night of terror for those inside, along with the theft of various items.
All parties were in place Monday morning when Smith was scheduled to be sentenced after earlier this year changing his plea to guilty on nine criminal counts.
When Smith didn’t make it to the hearing on time a new warrant for his arrest was issued, while a new bond was set for $100,000.
Court records show Smith did appear in court with his attorney around 4 p.m. that same day.
District Judge Greg Dixon denied the defense motion to postpone the sentencing until after January 2014.
Instead, the judge set Smith’s new hearing at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 25.
An alternative time of 1:30 p.m. that same day has also been set aside if Smith’s defense attorney, Micah Ayache of Pauls Valley, has a scheduling conflict with a case in another county.
During Monday’s proceedings another defendant in the case, Tygue Stephens, 29, changed his plea to no contest on the nine counts that include conspiracy, burglary, robbery, assault, theft of a vehicle and kidnapping.
Stephens has confessed to being the driver when the other four men went into the two area homes.
With the new pleas Stephens is now scheduled to be sentenced in January.
A third defendant, Justin Robbins, 24, is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 25 after submitting multiple guilty and no contest pleas.
The alleged leader of the group, Steven Thompson, 34, also known as “Petey G,” was found guilty by a jury on eight of nine criminal counts during a trial this past spring. He was sentenced to a 25-year term in prison.
The first sentenced in the case was Derrick Lane, 22, who was given a 20-year prison term.