Three teenagers from Flint, who were all charged as adults, are looking at potential decades in prison after pleading guilty to armed robbery and home invasion charges.
18-year-old Robert A. Murphy III and his younger brother, 16-year-old Roshawn R. Murphy, along with 18-year-old Courtney D. Hall were sentenced in the Genesee Circuit Court by Judge Richard B. Yuille. They were all given 5 to 20 years.
The three boys, who were aged 15 and 17 at the time of the incident, apparently broke into a home on Mohawk Avenue near Dort Highway. The home owner, a 79-year-old woman, was home alone at the time. She says that the teens pointed a gun at her, insisted that she give them her car keys, and then made off with her purse and a 32 inch television.
A K-9 unit was used to track the teens
The home invasion was reported to police at about 1:40 in the morning of Wednesday, January 15th. However, because the Flint Police Department was involved in processing a crime scene, the Michigan State Police responded to the call. A K-9 unit was used to track the teens, who had not gone far. They were discovered only a few blocks away with the stolen items.
Flint Police Chief James Tolbert spoke out after the incident, saying that he was appalled by what had happened and expected that others should be as well. Both as a police officer and also as a son, he said, he finds these kinds of crimes where the elderly are preyed upon in their own homes to be reprehensible.
Police say that they don’t know if the victim was a target because of her age, or for some other factor. Other neighbors in the area who spoke with the media after the incident said that the neighborhood had declined over the years. While the incident was upsetting, it was unfortunately not surprising.
Under Michigan law, armed robbery is a felony punishable by up to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of two years. First degree home invasion is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and possible fines of $5,000.00.