Newberry, S.C.; January 7, 2016 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Thursday that a Little Mountain man was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in a violent 2014 home invasion.
Robert Wright, 30, of Little Mountain, was found guilty of accessory before the fact to first degree burglary, accessory before the fact to armed robbery and criminal conspiracy. The jury deliberated about two hours before returning the guilty verdicts Wednesday afternoon.
Wright was facing of 15 years to life in prison.
Circuit Judge Donald Hocker deferred the sentencing phase of the trial until Thursday morning.
In April 2014, Wright solicited two other men – Tarakus Coleman and Lorenzo Jones – to commit a home invasion of a neighbor and distant relative of Wright. Wright told the two men that he needed his neighbors, Cedric and Precious Mayers, “out of the way” and told the two that they would find a large amount of cash and crack cocaine at the residence.
Coleman and Jones went to the Mayers’ home on the night of April 30, 2014, kicked in the front door and held the couple at gunpoint while they ransacked the home. The pair only made off with a little bit of cash and some marijuana.
Phone records showed a high volume of communication the day of the incident between Wright and Jones, including one text message from Jones to Wright that said, “Should I kick in the door?”
Jones and Coleman eventually confessed to their roles in the crime and testified for the prosecution, which was handled by Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott and Assistant Solicitor Taylor Daniel.
Charges against Coleman and Jones are still pending.
Mindy Zimmerman represented Wright during the proceeding.
Stumbo praised the work of Capt. Robert Dennis, Lt. Garrett Lominack, Sgt. Shawn Carnes, and Sgt. Brad Epps, as well as Scott and Taylor, in securing the conviction.
“Thanks to the persistent effort of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and my prosecutors, there is one less violent threat to the Newberry community,” Stumbo said following sentencing. “My office will continue to work tirelessly alongside law enforcement to remove these violent, self-serving criminals from the streets of the communities across the Eighth Circuit.”