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Two of five charged in robbery enter pleas

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

RADFORD – Two Radford men charged in connection with a March 2013 home invasion robbery in which a man was pistol-whipped pleaded guilty Friday.

William Marcell Minter, 20, and Justin Sante Little, 25, each received 38-year prison sentences, but Minter, who also pleaded guilty to drug charges, ended up with a 10-year active sentence and Little will have to serve eight years.

Both men will be placed on five years of active probation upon release from custody and their suspended sentences are subject to revocation of a period of 30 years. Minter and Little were fined $5,500 and $4,000, respectively, and both were ordered to make restitution to Jeff Brooks, in the amount of $4,436.

“This robbery was extremely dangerous and required a fast, strategic and well coordinated response by the Radford City Police Department,” said Radford Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Rehak. “Many criminals get away with masked robberies and are never identified, arrested or prosecuted.”

Radford City Police Department Lt. Andy Wilburn said following the March 5 robbery that police responded to the 100 block of Copper Beach Drive around 8:38 p.m. after receiving a report of a home invasion robbery. The two victims reported that at least two males armed with handguns and wearing bandanas on their face entered the unlocked residence and demanded various items, including jewelry.

Rehak said the men also demanded marijuana. He said one of the robbers pistol-whipped one of the victims, causing injuries to the back of the victim’s head. Wilburn said the injured victim refused medical treatment.

According to Rehak, each of the five men charged in the incident “was responsible for a different role in the caper.” Cases are still pending against co-defendants Johnie Winfield Hood, 20, of Belspring, De’Lonnie Leon Leggett, 21, of Radford and Dakota Randall Young, 21, of Radford.

Minter and Little each pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, one count of armed robbery, and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Charges of conspiring to rob, conspiring to commit burglary and one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony were not prosecuted.

Minter also pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of marijuana, two counts of distribution of a Schedule I drug and three counts of selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Rehak said the drug charges stem from purchases a confidential informant made from Minter on three separate occasions prior to the robbery. On two occasions, the informant purchase MDMA, also known as “Molly” or “ecstasy” for $150 and $230, and on another occasion over half an ounce of marijuana was purchased for $375.

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