A London man was sentenced to seven years in the state penitentiary Thursday morning in the Madison County Court of Common Pleas for a felonious assault charge resulting from a home invasion and burglary occurring in 2017.
John W. Turner III, 20, who had previously pleaded guilty to a single count of felonious assault, had also been originally charged with one count of aggravated burglary. The burglary charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal.
The offenses occurred on Nov. 6, 2017 when Turner and two accomplices, one of whom was a female, 24-year-old Ciera Sprouse of Franklin County, invaded the trailer being rented by Jaime Molina at the Spring Valley Trailer Park just north of London on U.S. Route 42. The trio, some of whom knew Molina, were hoping to make a quick score of cash, as they were aware that he had stashed money on the premises with the intention of sending it to his family in Mexico. Things went awry when Molina was not absent as planned, and came at them brandishing a baseball bat. A scuffle ensued, leaving Molina with injuries requiring hospitalization. The gang managed to steal $1,700 from Molina as well his cell phone.
Turner’s attorney, Thomas Arrington, told the court that his client had been reluctant to participate and remained outside while his two accomplices broke into the trailer. He entered “reluctantly and against his better judgment” when he heard one of his cohorts calling for help, believing him to be in distress.
Madison County Assistant Prosecutor Nick Adkins countered that statement when he told the court: “Mr. Molina stated that the person who hit him over the head with the board was Mr. Turner.”
Molina required multiple sutures and staples to repair the extensive injuries to his face and head, and is permanently disfigured as a result of the violent attack. He also wracked up over $6,300 in hospital fees.
Turner has an extensive criminal record going back to his childhood, including charges of resisting arrest, domestic violence, aggravated menacing, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Turner was previously incarcerated for nine months for felony theft and had proven unsuccessful in complying with the stipulations of post community control.
Turner is an admitted drug addict whose drugs of choice are methamphetamine, crack cocaine, and heroin.
The impetus for the home invasion was to obtain funds to support his habit. As he addressed Judge Eamon Costello, Turner told him that he was trying to get a handle on his addiction and wished that he had never started experimenting at a young age.
“While you are trying to get on top of your addiction issues, you are having a considerable safety impact on your community,” Costello replied.
Besides the 7-year determinate sentence, Turner was sentenced to 3 years of Post-release control (PRC) and ordered to pay restitution on the $1,700 in stolen cash, the $6,325.84 in medical bills, and $500 for the stolen cell phone.
Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU