Pauls Valley Democrat
Two suspects involved in a 2010 plot to break-in and rob alleged drug dealers in Pauls Valley and Elmore City homes, resulting in a night of terror for those inside, are expected to soon find out their fate.
After already switching their pleas to guilty or no contest for some counts, Justin Robbins and Jonathon Smith, both 24, are scheduled to be sentenced next week in a home invasion case that has two other suspects set up with long prison terms.
Robbins and Smith have admitted being among the four masked men who forced their way in to burglarize the two area homes on Nov. 14-15 nearly three years ago.
Along with the items stolen, they wound up terrorizing and brutally beating those inside as one other suspect who was part of the group stayed outside serving as the “get away” driver.
With potential prison terms looming the real differences between the two are the results of their pre-sentence investigations, which is a standard practice for defendants about to be sentenced.
One report shows Robbins admits his involvement in the crimes and appears to take responsibility for his actions.
Robbins is also getting letters of support, including one from a PV pastor who is among those claiming he’s a changed man by finding religion and ministering to area youth today.
The report on Smith shows he doesn’t appear to accept responsibility, instead claiming he was under the influence of drugs at the time and didn’t know what he was doing.
In the report for Robbins he claimed it was the scheme of Steven Thompson, 34, also known as “Petey G,” to break in and rob the two homes.
This past April a jury found Thompson guilty on eight of nine criminal counts he faced. Last month he was sentenced to a 25-year term in prison.
“He said it would be simple — in and out,” Robbins told the officer conducting the sentencing investigation while referring to Thompson.
The idea, he said, was to go into the houses and steal large amounts of methamphetamine and cash.
According to Robbins, after the first break-in the stolen items were taken to the PV area home of Tygue Stephens, 29, where the meth was weighed by Thompson and split equally among the five men.
Robbins claimed they smoked the meth and then committed the home invasion in Elmore City.
Since that time Robbins claimed to have changed with his involvement in a local church.
“I pray continually for the chance to live outside of bars and vowed to the Lord if that chance was given to me I would spend my life glorifying God.”
Robbins’ claim was supported by at least three letters of support already submitted to the court.
The story is much different for Smith, which the report shows appears to remain a threat to the community because of continued use of meth and alcohol.
“Probation would not be a sufficient deterrent in this case,” the report showed.
“Smith does not appear to accept responsibility for the current criminal charges.
“He indicates that he was just with some acquaintances and had been drinking and smoked meth. Smith advised that had he not been under the influence he would not have been involved in the crime.”
As for Stephens, his non-jury trial scheduled for November has since been changed to a status conference.
The fifth defendant in the case, Derrick Lane, 23, has already been given a 20-year prison sentence.