One of five defendants in a brutal home invasion robbery took a plea agreement in return for a five-year prison sentence Thursday.
Billy Mecredy, 19, pleaded no contest to robbery in return for the stipulated sentence and three years parole or post-release community supervision; Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson dropped an initial charge of home invasion robbery and several special allegations. The remaining counts against him, of first-degree residential burglary with a person present, assault with a deadly weapon and vehicle theft, will be dismissed at sentencing.
Mecredy is set to be sentenced Aug. 4.
“I spoke at length with the victim,” Ferguson said. “I took into account the gravity of his injuries but also the youth of Mr. Mecredy. I believe the plea balances the aggravating factors and the mitigating factors and is fair.
“It’s sad for everyone,” Ferguson continued. “I don’t like sending a 19-year-old to prison … but I have to hold people accountable for violent crime. I think this sends the right message.”
Five youths aged 17 to 19 were arrested in the Dec. 6, 2013, robbery, in which a 73-year-old Grass Valley man was beaten and tied up by three young men who knocked on his door and asked him if they could make an out-of-town phone call.
The victim was struck in the face and head by an unidentified weapon and left bound and bleeding on the floor while the trio ransacked and stole several items from the residence before fleeing in his truck. He has had several surgeries to repair the fractured orbital bone around his right eye and continues to have serious medical issues from the beating.
Ferguson has said one suspect drove the group away from the victim’s home, three committed the actual assault and burglary of the residence, and the fifth suspect alerted the co-conspirators by phone that the victim was home and ready to rob.
That teen, Devin Matthew Thomas, 18, has pleaded no contest to one count of conspiracy to commit residential burglary. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. on July 7. Ferguson said Thomas will most likely be sentenced to one year in connection with the case due to his age and limited involvement in the crime.
Three defendants remain in the case.
Elliott Roberts, 17, is being tried as an adult. He has been charged with first-degree residential burglary, second-degree robbery and criminal conspiracy and has pleaded not guilty.
Tyler Leal, 17, also has been charged as an adult. He has pleaded not guilty to home invasion robbery, first-degree residential burglary with a person present, criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property.
Austin Michael Wallace, 17, has been charged as an adult with home invasion robbery, first-degree residential burglary, criminal conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact and has pleaded no contest.
The three youths were in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday for a motion to consolidate their cases, but that was continued to July 10 at 1 p.m.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.