Pauls Valley Democrat
A judge’s ruling closely considered a jury’s opinion as a Pauls Valley man was sentenced Friday to a long prison term after his conviction in a couple of area home invasions dating back to 2010.
Steven Thompson, 34, also known as “Petey G,” was handed a 25-year sentence as District Judge Greg Dixon admitted leaning toward the recommended sentence of the jury that found Thompson guilty on eight of nine criminal counts this past April.
Although Thompson continues to deny any involvement, jurors decided they believed he was one of four masked men who forced their way in to burglarize homes in PV and Elmore City on Nov. 14-15, 2010.
They wound up terrorizing and brutally beating those inside as one other subject who was part of the group stayed outside serving as the “get away” driver.
The brutality of the crimes was one reason Garvin County Assistant District Attorney Tara Portillo argued for an even harsher sentence.
“He’s a criminal and he needs to be locked up,” Portillo said about Thompson.
“Some people simply need to be punished,” she said. “He simply needs to go away.”
Portillo was asking for Thompson to be given consecutive terms for the jury’s recommendations in this case.
Jurors 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.
The recommended sentence was for Thompson to receive from three to 10 years in prison on each count. Each of the jury’s terms added up to 65 years.
Despite Thompson’s claim of innocence, the prosecutor argued jurors convicted him even though they didn’t know the other four defendants said Thompson was involved in the two home invasions or that some items in the burglaries were found at his own home.
“They broke into the home of a convicted drug dealer,” Portillo said, referring to the Pauls Valley incident.
“They also knew he was not home but locked up in Garvin County jail,” she said.
“We know his girlfriend was home, and she was held at gunpoint and feared she was going to die.”
More terror in the case was described as a rife being used to beat a man in the Elmore City home, while a women was injured trying to protect their young son.
“They made that 4-year-old child believe his father had been murdered,” Portillo said.
“Home is supposed to be a safe place. We don’t get a lesser sentence because we break into a drug dealer’s home.”
Thompson’s defense attorney, William Deveraux Jr. of Purcell, argued the court should consider other factors before giving him the maximum punishment.
“He still maintains his innocence but we recognize he needs to be punished because he was found guilty by a jury of his peers,” Deveraux said.
“We hope the court considers his background of abandonment, abuse and addiction,” he said.
“We ask that he be given a prison term but that he also gets a chance to rehabilitate.”
The defense attorney then requested a 10-year prison term for his client.
This sentence wraps up cases against two of the five defendants charged in the two home invasions.
Derrick Lane, 23, was given a 20-year prison sentence when he pleaded no contest to nine counts in May.
Sentencing hearings are scheduled for later this month for Justin Robbins, 24, and Jonathon Smith, 24.
The confessed driver in the case, Tygue Stephens, 29, has a status conference set in November.