A Jessamine County jury lowered the boom on two men who were found guilty of a violent home invasion in Wilmore in October 2011.
Willie Fain, 24, and Rodney Jones, 21, were found guilty of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and theft by unlawful taking on Friday, Feb. 22, following a four-day trial in Jessamine Circuit Court. Fain was also found guilty of second-degree persistant felony offender.
The jury recommended an 80-year sentence for Fain and a 21-year sentence for Jones.
“The reason behind that is Fain had a prior felony record,” assistant commonwealth’s attorney Andy Sims said.
In October 2011, Fain and Jones were among four men who broke into a woman’s home on Berry Patch Drive.
During the invasion, the men “terrorized” the woman and held her at gunpoint, Sims said.
“There were a lot of threats involved like, ‘We’re going to kill you,’ and everything,” Sims said.
Sims said once the invasion was over, the woman called the Wilmore Police Department and officers performed a through investigation.
“(Wilmore officers) picked up a couple guys and interviewed them and they confessed,” Sims said. “Their confessions led to the remaining two, which happened to be Fain and Jones.”
According to Sims, the other two men, Robert Sheeley and William Penn, struck a deal with the prosecution for their testimony against Fain and Jones. Sheeley and Penn received 15-year jail terms last year for their involvement in the home invasion.
Headed into the trial, Sims said there were many things the prosecution had to overcome.
“This one had its difficulties because the guys wore masks and we didn’t have an eyewitness identification from the victim,” Sims said. “So we had an uphill battle along those lines.”
Sims said the testimony of Sheeley and Penn was clutch.
“We had the trial all last week, and they lit the two guys up pretty good,” Sims said.
Sims credited the jury for sending a message to those considering committing a violent crime such as a home invasion.
“I’m particularly thankful (the jury) gave the guys the time they did,” he said. “Like I explained to the jury during my closing statements, with the way the economy is and the way everybody is up against it, there have been a rash of these terrible crimes where people are breaking into people’s homes and committing home invasions.
“Hopefully it will serve to be a good lesson to people thinking about doing it. Also, it shows homeowners that if it’s done to them, then those people who do it are going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Under Kentucky law, Sims said Fain and Jones will have to serve at least 85 percent of their prison time once they are formally sentenced next month.
That means Fain will serve at least 20 years, while Jones is looking at a minimum of 13 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole, Sims said.