Pauls Valley Democrat
A long prison sentence and a couple of guilty pleas came Monday in the case of a couple of violent Pauls Valley area home invasions dating back to 2010.
Derrick Lane, 23, chose to accept a plea deal with state prosecutors, while both Jonathon Smith, 23, and Justin Robbins, 24, submitted “blind” pleas of guilty or no contest during a gathering in a Garvin County District courtroom.
The three defendants are among the five men accused of taking part in the burglaries of homes in PV and Elmore City on Nov. 14-15, 2010.
In both incidents four masked men forced their way into the homes, where they terrorized residents inside before stealing various items and cash. A fifth man served as the driver during the incidents.
Just a few weeks ago another defendant, Steven Thompson, 33, also known as “Petey G,” was found guilty by a jury on eight of nine criminal counts he faced for more than two years ago.
A fifth defendant, Tygue Stephens, 28, could potentially choose to take his case to a non-jury trial this fall.
On Monday it was Lane who was actually sentenced when he submitted new pleas for nine counts.
Lane was given what is essentially a 20-year prison term with his new plea of no contest for charges that include conspiracy, robbery, burglary, assault and battery and kidnaping.
Restrained in handcuffs while still dressed in an orange jail inmate outfit, Lane stood with his attorney, Ryan Rennie, in front of District Judge Greg Dixon.
“My client withdraws his pleas and enters a new plea of no contest pursuant to a plea agreement with the state,” Rennie said.
Tara Portillo, an assistant district attorney, said the state has agreed not to a sentence modification but a hearing for Lane in a year.
“The state agreed to allow him to have the hearing after one year,” Portillo said to the judge.
Lane was actually given 10- and 20-year terms for each of the nine charges. The sentences are to run concurrent, which means the total time is 20 years.
He was given credit for time already served as Lane’s been held in Garvin County jail since his arrest shortly after the 2010 home invasions.
He was also sentenced on additional assault charges filed during his time in jail.
Earlier it was Smith who pleaded guilty to nine counts, while Robbins offered both guilty and no contest pleas to the same nine accusations.
Sentencing dates for both Smith, Robbins and even Thompson are currently scheduled for August.