Pauls Valley Democrat
One defendant was nowhere near the courtroom, while another changed his plea Monday in a three-year-old plot to break-in and rob alleged drug dealers in two Garvin County homes.
A new arrest warrant and bond total were issued for Jonathon Smith, 24, when he didn’t show up for his sentencing in the 2010 case where a group of men invaded homes in Pauls Valley and Elmore City resulting in a night of terror for those inside.
Smith has admitted to being one of four masked men who forced their way in to burglarize the two area homes on Nov. 14-15 three years ago.
A fifth suspect in the case, Tygue Stephens, 29, who served as the driver in the two heists, changed his plea to no contest for the nine criminal counts he faces. The plea came Monday morning in a PV courtroom.
Stephens is now scheduled to be sentenced in January after a pre-sentence investigation report is completed.
This week’s hearing for Smith had been the day where he was expected to learn his fate with a judge’s ruling on his sentence.
The ruling instead turned to a warrant for Smith’s arrest when he failed to appear at the Garvin County District courtroom late Monday morning.
The development came as a surprise to the defendant’s attorney, Micah Ayache of Pauls Valley.
“He’s been here every single time,” Ayache said to District Judge Greg Dixon when responding to his client’s absence. “He’s cooperated all the way through
“I’m really surprised he didn’t show up. If I find him judge I’ll bring him in.”
Dixon then denied a motion to postpone the hearing and instead approved an arrest warrant for Smith, along with a new $100,000 bond once he’s found and booked into county jail.
Another defendant in the case, Justin Robbins, 24, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
Robbins has claimed it was the scheme of Steven Thompson, 34, also known as “Petey G,” to break in and rob the two homes.
This past spring a jury found Thompson guilty on eight of nine criminal counts he faced. In August he was sentenced to a 25-year term in prison.
The first sentenced in the case was Derrick Lane, 23, who has already been given a 20-year prison term.