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February 27, 2014
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More suspects ID’d in brutal home invasion burglary

All three suspects have been identified in a brutal home invasion robbery in Grass Valley that seriously injured the elderly resident.

The victim, who is in his 70s, was beaten and tied up Dec. 6, 2013, by three young men who forced entry into his residence in the 200 block of Hill Street after knocking on his door and asking him if they could make an out-of-town phone call. He started dialing the phone number provided by the suspects and was then struck in the face and head by an unidentified weapon.

The victim was left bound and bleeding on the floor while the trio ransacked and stole several items from the residence, fleeing in his truck.

He was able to crawl to a telephone to call 911; his truck later was recovered — abandoned — on Richardson Street.

The victim, who is not being identified, has had several surgeries to repair the fractured orbital bone around his right eye and continues to have serious medical issues from the beating.

The primary aggressor, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested less than a week after the attack. He was booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery, battery with serious bodily injury, residential burglary, theft from an elder and false imprisonment of an elder, as well as violating probation.

At the time, Grass Valley Police Sgt. Steve Johnson said his office would ask the district attorney’s office to try him as an adult because of the severity of the crime and because he was within weeks of his 18th birthday.

Any decision on that is still pending, Nevada County District Attorney Cliff Newell said Wednesday.

Since that initial arrest, investigators had been diligently working on the case, which has proved complex, Johnson said.

“We secured a significant amount of evidence and identified the two other individuals involved,” he said.

On Feb. 13, officers arrested one of the suspects, another 17-year-old boy who is not being identified. He has been charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property and is being held at Juvenile Hall, Johnson said.

A warrant was obtained for the third suspect, Devin Matthew Thomas, 18, and he turned himself in on charges of criminal conspiracy Friday. He was released on his own recognizance and is set to return to court Monday.

Thomas had been arrested Dec. 11 on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance, possessing stolen property and appropriating stolen property after he reportedly was found with stolen property and with a kit used for making hash oil.

Officers were at a residence in the 18000 block of McCourtney Road, making an unrelated arrest, when they reportedly located marijuana, chemicals and other items used for the manufacture of hash oil. They also recovered items that have been linked to a reported break-in of a vehicle on Nov. 23, including ID and credit cards belonging to the victim.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Feb 27, 2014 12:42AM Published Feb 27, 2014 10:33PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.