|45-year sentence for home invasions|
|The Press - News|
|Written by The Press|
|Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:32|
A Sanderson man who admitted he was crazed on drugs and alcohol was sentenced July 19 to 45 years in prison for two home invasion robberies a year ago, including one where he brutally beat an elderly couple.
Ryan Phillips, 26, entered multiple no contest pleas in circuit court that afternoon and was sentenced by Judge Phyllis Rosier following a round of statements by relatives of his victims and others.
Mr. Phillips admitted to invading the homes of Sam and Mildred Anger on Fred Harvey Rd. and Reginia Williamson on Leon Dopson Rd. Both robberies occurred on July 17, 2010.
He also plead to two counts of kidnapping Mr. and Mrs. Anger and two counts of aggravated abuse of the elderly. The victims were 78 and 77 at the time.
Mr. Anger, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, was beaten severely about the face and head. His wife had facial bruising and a serious contusion on the chest where she was punched.
Prosecutor Ralph Yazdiya added the kidnapping counts because Mr. Phillips tied up the couple using TV cable after he beat them.
Shortly after, the defendant forced his way into the residence of Joel Barber and dragged his sister Ms. Williamson down a hallway after placing her in a headlock. He took money from her purse, but did not harm 90-year-old Rhoda Barber, the owner’s mother, or his daughter, age 10.
Mr. Barber was not at home at the time.For that crime, counts of home invasion robbery, false imprisonment and aggravated assault were added.
Court records show Mr. Phillips, a convicted felon who has been to prison before and was released in 2008, has a prior record of robbery, fleeing police, attempted lewd assault on a victim less than 16 years old, theft and fraud.
A court-appointed psychologist said the defendant “had a poor recollection of a significant portion of his behavior” during what was described as a two-day binge that ended when he was arrested by police in Columbia County following a tip by an acquaintance.
Mr. Phillips said he had earlier controlled his addictions, but relapsed after a girlfriend ended their relationship. He said he broke into the residences to get money for more alcohol and drugs.The defendant, an honor graduate of Baker County High School, had been living with several relatives since his release, including his grandparents Raymond and Frances Phillips of Sanderson, friends of the Angers.
The Anger couple did not attend the sentencing last week, but their daughter Cindy Rhoden spoke of the adverse effects of her father’s head trauma on the Alzheimer’s condition.
A neurologist confirmed the beating accelerated what was before the attack a less pronounced stage of the dementia.
Mr. Barber told the court his adopted daughter was traumatized by the event. Other speakers included the defendant’s grandparents, who were allowed to hug Mr. Phillips before he was led off.
Ms. Rhoden at one point faced the defendant, declaring she has forgiven him for what he did to her parents, as has her father.
Mr. Phillips acknowledged that he had allowed his life to slide with the addiction and apologized to the victims. He pleaded with the judge for a reduced sentence than that sought by the state, saying his “life would be over” with the 45-year term.
Judge Rosier countered that prisons have a variety of programs steering inmates toward productive lives.
The state dropped twin counts of aggravated battery on an older person as part of the plea agreement, and the judge imposed a five-year concurrent sentence because Mr. Phillips violated terms of his probation last summer when he moved.
|Last Updated on Friday, 29 July 2011 08:16|