A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a couple of burglaries that took place last September.
Reginald L. Bowers, of the 6800 block of Richfield Court, received the 20-year prison term Friday in Allen Superior Court after pleading guilty last month. Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck said at first he felt compelled not to accept the plea agreement because of the level of violence committed against the victims in both cases by Bowers and allegedly by another man, Mang Z. Suan, of the 4000 block of Hessen Cassel Road, who is scheduled to go on trial this fall.
While Surbeck thought the plea bargain was very fair, he said he felt it "may be even too lenient."
Surbeck said beating up someone after breaking into the person's home in the middle of the night is something "this culture considers most offensive." He also condemned the "extraordinary amount of needless violence" in each of the burglaries.
In addition to the 20-year prison term, 14 years were suspended and six years will be served on probation after the executed portion of the sentence.
Defense attorney Quinton Ellis pushed for substance abuse treatment, which Surbeck urged Bowers to pursue while he is in prison.
In one case a group of men were robbed Sept. 25 on Coventry Parkway in southwest Allen County. One of the victims told police the suspects entered the garage and demanded money and their cellphones. He told police the suspects then entered the residence, waking up two people who were asleep inside the home. The victim said the suspects entered the garage again with items from the house and left out a side door.
One of the victims grabbed his car keys and chased the men, firing shots at the suspects' car. Police pinged one of the iPhones that was taken and eventually found the car at Three Fountains Apartments, where there was a police standoff with the suspects.
In the other case, a man who thought his girlfriend was coming home opened the door for her at about 3 a.m. Sept. 25 and was met by two men armed with semi-automatic handguns, according to the probable-cause affidavit. They told the victim to get inside, ordering him to the floor, striking him several times with the handgun on his head and asking for money. The victim said he had no money, and then the two men asked for drugs, which the man also said he didn't have. After threatening to shoot the victim several times, the victim told them he had an Xbox One in the corner. The two men allegedly took the gaming system and controllers along with the victim's wallet. They also allegedly punched holes into the victim's walls, the affidavit said. The victim's girlfriend later discovered a bracelet and diamond-stud earrings were taken during the robbery.
The police later executed a search warrant and found the victim's Xbox in Suan's apartment and his wallet in a car, and the victim positively identified Bowers from a photo, the affidavit said.