Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 8, 2013

Guilty used often in assault trail

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Guilty was a word used often as a three-day jury trial came to an end for one defendant in a couple of violent Pauls Valley area home invasions dating back to 2010.

Steven Thompson, 33, also known as “Petey G,” was found guilty this week on the eight of nine criminal counts he faced for more than two years.

A nine-man, three-woman jury decided they believed Thompson was one of four masked men who forced their way in to burglarize homes in PV and Elmore City on Nov. 14-15, 2010. One other subject was part of the group but stayed outside serving as the driver.

It took jurors just over three hours of closed-door deliberations before they convicted Thompson of two conspiracy counts, two first-degree burglary counts, two first-degree robbery counts, an assault and battery with a dangerous weapon count and a larceny of an automobile charge.

The only not guilty verdict for Thompson came with a kidnapping count.

Prosecutor Tara Portillo, an assistant district attorney in Garvin County, said it was obvious the jury carefully considered all the evidence presented to them during the trial in a district courtroom.

“We’re pleased with the verdict,” Portillo said.

“I commend the jury,” she said. “Obviously they had to analyze the evidence very closely and take some time with it.

“There was only one person who could ID the defendant so they had analyze it to tie him to the Pauls Valley burglary as well.”

Testimony during the trial was at times emotional for a trio of victims as they described the violence and fear they felt for their lives as the assailants, armed with weapons and all wearing masks and bandanas, first kicked in a door to the two homes in Pauls Valley and Elmore City.

Along with the eight guilty verdicts, jurors also recommended Thompson receive from three to 10 years in prison on each count.

Each of the jury’s recommended prison terms add up to 65 years in the case.

The number of years Thompson will be given remains uncertain for now as District Judge Greg Dixon ordered a pre-sentence investigation first be conducted.

Thompson’s sentencing date is now scheduled for Aug. 12. He was given a $25,000 bond pending the sentencing hearing.

Thompson is among the group of five area men accused of committing the two home invasions.

The others include Justin Robbins, 24, Tygue Stephens, 28, Jonathon Smith, 23, and Derrick Lane, 23.

Each of the suspects faces the same multiple felony counts as three of them currently have non-jury trials scheduled for May.