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Man pleads guilty in home invasion

The third of three men arrested and charged in connection with a home invasion on L. P. Bailey Highway in January 2013 will spend five years in prison, the remainder of his 43-year sentence suspended for nine robbery and firearm-related charges after pleading guilty in Halifax County Circuit Court last Monday.

Thirty-one-year-old Andrew Hankins of Crystal Hill pleaded guilty to four counts of robbery and one count each of conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, breaking and entering, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

Pursuant to a plea agreement with the commonwealth, seven other related charges were nol prossed, including three for robbery, two for use of a firearm to commit a felony and single charges for abduction and grand larceny.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Hankins was sentenced to two years in prison, the mandatory minimum on the charge of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and a mandatory minimum of three years on using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The court ordered the suspended portion of Hankins’ sentence be conditioned on his good behavior for 10 years, and it placed him on probation for two years following his release.

The charges against Hankins and two other defendants, 25-year-old Eric Lamont Canada and 31-year-old Brooks Deshaun Boyd, stemmed from a home invasion that occurred in the 9000 block of L. P. Bailey Highway in the early morning hours of Jan. 5, 2013.

Canada and Boyd were waiting outside of the house where a card game was taking place, when two of the occupants exited to check on their vehicles, according to court records.

The first victim saw two individuals dressed in dark clothing, wearing ski masks and each carrying a shotgun.  The two individuals were later identified as Canada and Boyd.

The first victim ran and escaped.  

The second individual was stopped by Canada and Boyd, who threatened to shoot the second victim if they were not allowed entry into the home.

Eventually, Canada and Boyd kicked in the door and held the occupants of the home at gunpoint while taking money, cell phones and other items from the four individuals.   

The owner of the house was able to dial 911 and alert authorities, and officers from the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and Town of Halifax Police Department responded. 

After a several-hour search, Canada and Boyd were apprehended by Halifax County Sheriff’s deputies several miles away from the house. 

During the apprehension, the sheriff’s department recovered the two firearms used in the home invasion as well as several of the items taken during the robberies.

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office apprehended a third suspect, later identified as Hankins, who was acting as a getaway driver for Canada and Boyd.

Canada and Boyd were both later convicted of four counts of robbery with a firearm, burglary of a dwelling while armed with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit burglary while armed with a deadly weapon.


Other court cases

Kimberly Shantae Mills, 34, of South Boston pleaded guilty last Monday to 12 related charges, four for grand larceny from Lowes, three each for obtaining money under false pretenses from Lowes and DPS Pawn & Gun Shop, and two for petty larceny from Lowes.

Mills was remanded to custody to await sentencing set for the May court term.

 Floyd Wesley Bouldin, 28, of Clover pleaded no contest last Monday to a probation violation charge.

The court revoked two years of Bouldin’s previously suspended sentence, with credit for time served.

 Jennifer Courtney Gardner, 21, of South Boston was convicted last Monday for the unlawful wounding of Jamand Edmonds.

Sentencing for Gardner was continued to a date in the May court term.

 Paulette Gregory, 25, of Drakes Branch had the court dismiss two charges against her last Monday for contempt of court.

The commonwealth also moved to nol pros two charges against Gregory during the hearing, both for failure to return rental property to Colortyme.

 John Howard Harris Jr., 22, of Vernon Hill pleaded no contest last Monday to possession of cocaine.

Harris also pleaded guilty to a contempt of court charge for failing to appear, with the court dismissing a similar charge against the defendant.

The court granted first offender status for the defendant on the cocaine possession charge, finding evidence sufficient to convict Harris but continuing disposition of the case for one year.

The court placed Harris under supervision of Halifax-Pittsylvania Court Services, ordered him to abstain from illegal drugs and submit to random drug tests, and it ordered him to undergo substance abuse counseling and treatment.

The court further ordered Harris to perform 100 hours of community service and ordered him placed on good behavior for 12 months, in addition to suspending his operator’s license for six months.

The court sentenced the defendant to a 10-day suspended jail term for failing to appear in court. 

 Kelvin Jermaine Lester, 38, of South Boston had a charge against him for a probation violation dismissed last Monday upon his successful completion of a drug counseling and treatment program, in a review case.