COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A Columbus teenager is sentenced to 40 years in prison for a September 2011 home invasion robbery.
Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens sentenced 18-year-old Corey Lathan to 30 years for armed robbery and 10 years for burglary. Kitchens suspended another five years of the burglary sentence. Lathan, who could have gotten life in prison, also must serve five years of post-release supervision.
A Lowndes County Circuit Court jury deliberated about two hours Thursday afternoon before finding Lathan guilty of burglary.
He is one of six people charged with the home invasion robbery of Karen Winter in her home at Sandpiper Apartments last September. On Tuesday, the first day of the three-day trial, Winter testified she answered a knock on her door thinking it was a neighbor only to have the door shoved open by a man wearing a hoodie and armed with a handgun.
He and two or three other intruders forced her to lie on the floor, covered her with a blanket, stuck the gun to her neck and made off with a television, cash, two laptops, and other items.
Three of the others charged in the case testified Lathan was one of those who went int the apartment although they differed on who had the gun. Lathan claimed he wasn’t with the group but was at home. He says he didn’t hook up with them until they drove by his home after the robbery.
He was one of the people in a vehicle stopped by Columbus police a few hours after the robbery. One of the stolen laptops was in the vehicle. Other stolen merchandise was recovered in an apartment rented by the sister of one of the suspects.
Another of the suspects was found not guilty of armed robbery by a jury earlier this year but was convicted of a lesser charge. Charges still are pending against the remaining four.