Troy Couple Sentenced to 70 Years in Prison for Home Invasion
A Pike County couple will spend 70 years behind bars for their roles in a home invasion that happened in March of last year.
A jury convicted Deanna McLeod and Parrish Bean of two counts of burglary and one count of robbery each at their trial in March.
Their families say they hoped for leniency, but Wednesday, a judge ruled they deserved a tougher punishment for their roles in the crime.
"Obviously, we're disappointed," said Susan James, Deanna McLeod's attorney.
The crime happened at a home on George Hall Drive in March of 2012. Police say McLeod and Bean, who were dating, drove Thomas White, Bean's cousin, to the home .
White allegedly kicked in the door and threatened the homeowners with a sawed-off shotgun, taking valuables, including the couple's wedding rings, which were later found in his pockets.
At one point, prosecutors say White began to attack the couple, who fought back, stabbing White, who later died of his injuries.
"We had hoped for a sentence right in that time frame, we have spoken to our victims, they are well satisfied with that as well," said District Attorney Tom Anderson.
District Attorney Tom Anderson says McLeod and Bean were originally charged with murder, because White died during the crime.
That charge was later dropped, since the law prohibits convictions on that charge in addition to the burglaries.
At the sentencing, their lawyers said McLeod and Bean weren't to blame for White's actions.
McLeod took the stand, telling the judge she didn't "have anything to do with" the crime, because she said she wasn't sure what White planned to do that night.
Prosecutors countered that, saying the couple stayed in the neighborhood for two hours after dropping White off at the home, even after hearing the sirens.
Bean also told the judge he didn't believe he was responsible for what happened to the homeowners. "I think they were fearful.
Mr. White had a gun, he was just out of his mind on cocaine," said James.
Several character witnesses, including family members, took the stand to testify on behalf of McLeod and Bean, both of whom have young children.
They described McLeod as a bright girl with promise who made a mistake and Bean as a talented athlete who had gotten caught up with the wrong crowd.
However, District Attorney Tom Anderson said both McLeod and Bean played an active role in the crime and showed a disregard for the homeowners' property and their lives.
"We've got to send a message that individuals who aid, promote, and assist offenses like this that are substantially involved, that the community's not going to put up with it, and they're going to serve substantial time , and I think that's what we did here," he said.
The defense lawyers say they will appeal the judge's decision and plan to ask for a new trial.
However, prosecutors say the sentence was fair.