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Home invasion defendant gets a year

Liz Kellar
Staff Writer

One of five defendants in a Grass Valley home invasion robbery was sentenced Thursday to one year in jail.

Devin Matthew Thomas, 18, had pleaded no contest to one count of conspiracy to commit residential burglary in the Dec. 6, 2013, robbery, in which a 73-year-old Grass Valley man was beaten and tied up.

Three young men knocked on the man’s door and asked him if they could make an out-of-town phone call, then struck him in the face and head and left him bound and bleeding on the floor while they ransacked and stole several items from the residence before fleeing in his truck.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger sentenced Thomas to 365 days in county jail and five years supervised probation. Whether he will serve his remaining time with 15 percent or 50 percent credit for good behavior will be addressed at a hearing July 31. Thomas can not apply for alternative sentencing and must attend “moral reconation therapy” or some other form of counseling; Heidelbeger also imposed a criminal protective order for his probation.

Given Thomas’ young age, she said it was important he understands the impact of the “horrendous crime”. She ordered him to read the victim’s impact statement and write a response or apology.

Of the remaining four defendants in the case:

— Billy Mecredy, 19, pleaded no contest to robbery in return for a five-year prison sentence and three years parole or post-release community supervision; he is set to be sentenced Aug. 4.

— 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 not guilty.

Grimes sentenced to 300 days

A man who was on the lam for nearly four days after he escaped, handcuffed, from a sheriff’s patrol vehicle was sentenced last week to 300 days in jail.

John William Grimes, 31, escaped from custody June 2 after Nevada County sheriff’s deputies had been dispatched to a residence on the 11000 block of Ridge Road for a domestic violence call and detained him. Grimes escaped from the patrol vehicle, while handcuffed, and fled on foot. He was apprehended June 5 after he reportedly tried to make a swim for it at Scotts Flat Lake.

Grimes had been charged with spousal abuse, second-degree robbery, vandalism, and escape from custody with serious bodily injury. He also was facing a petty theft charge stemming from a February arrest, charges of spousal abuse and damaging a phone in an April arrest and a violation of probation in a June 2013 case in which he allegedly tied up and assaulted a man in a robbery.

He subsequently pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of spousal abuse and a misdemeanor count of escape from custody. He was sentenced to 300 days in jail and three years probation; he also must complete a one-year batterer’s program. His misdemeanor cases were both dismissed.

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


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