The last of five youths charged in a 2011 home invasion were sentenced to prison Tuesday.
Mario Levache Jones Jr., 18, of Augusta, and Nicholas Dwight Blodgett, 18, of Grovetown, were charged last year with burglary, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Blodgett pleaded guilty to the charges, and Superior Court Judge David Roper sentenced him to 15 years in prison followed by five years’ probation. Jones also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by five years’ probation.
“You have the opportunity to turn your life around,” Roper told both teens. He required that Jones and Blodgett earn their GEDs.
The two participated in an armed home invasion on Lake Royal Drive along with Jermaine Marcell Jones Jr., 15, Antonio Marquette Davis, 16, and Zion Howard, 12, all of Augusta. Jermaine Jones and Davis, who also faced a charge of theft by receiving stolen property, have been sentenced to five years in confinement by Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan. He remanded Howard to the custody of the state Department of Juvenile Justice.
At about 2 p.m. Oct. 30, 2011, a woman called authorities claiming that four young men threatened her at gunpoint, Assistant District Attorney Geoffrey Fogus said. She answered the door of her boyfriend’s home off South Old Belair Road and four youths forced her to the floor at gunpoint. Mario Jones, who apologized in court, was one of two with revolvers, and he put the gun in the woman’s face, Fogus said.
“This was a planned home invasion with two loaded weapons,” Fogus said, adding that the incident has had drastic effects on the victim. “She’s undone. She’s beside herself. She’s scared to go outside.”
The assailants woke up her boyfriend, who was asleep upstairs. He cocked a weapon and scared the assailants away.
The youths were caught and arrested as they fled. Blodgett, who is believed to have been driving the truck, was arrested later. The other youths claimed he was the mastermind of the home invasion.
“I want to apologize to the court and to the family,” Blodgett said at the hearing. “I made a big mistake, and I regret it.”
Fogus said Blodgett targeted the home because of a grudge with the victims’ son. He said that he knew there were guns in the home and that they planned to steal and sell them.
“He didn’t have a gun, but in my opinion, in my analysis, he’s just as responsible as the others,” Fogus said.