Man gets 50 years to life in home invasion
After hearing one of his victims say she remains fearful and still suffers flashbacks, a Yonkers man Tuesday was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for taking part in a 2009 home invasion in Huntington.
Vance Jackson, 47, was one of four people charged in connection with the violent burglary, in which two people were shot and another was pistol-whipped while two teenage boys hid elsewhere in the house. Vance was found guilty Oct. 19 by a Suffolk jury on all 13 counts facing him, including robbery, burglary, assault, weapons possession and endangering the welfare of a child.
The victims survived the attack, during which the four burglars stole $3,500, prosecutors said.
Speaking in court before Jackson was sentenced, Elizabeth Careccia recalled opening the door of her Virginia Street house to two people she believed were insurance agents. Soon, she said, the pair and Jackson were inside the house firing gunshots.
Careccia said she was "attacked mentally and physically" by Jackson and the others, and her infant daughter was "exposed to danger and violence." Careccia was shot during the attack.
The violent robbery left her with "mental flashbacks," Careccia said in court.
"It was the worst nightmare come true," she said. "I felt powerless and helpless."
Prosecutors said the burglars posed as insurance agents to gain entry to the house on Aug. 28, 2009, then demanded money while holding three adults at gunpoint.
Another occupant of the house, Aaron Johnson, was shot four times, including once in the neck, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said.
State Supreme Court Justice C. Randall Hinrichs sentenced Jackson to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life in prison.
Before he was sentenced, Jackson maintained his innocence and blamed one of his co-defendants, Benjamin Thompson, for implicating him in the crime.
"I have never seen the victims of this crime, and they have never seen me," Jackson told Hinrichs. "I don't feel that I had a fair trial."
Jackson's attorney, Steven Raiser of Mineola, called the sentence excessive and said it would be overturned on appeal.
Asked about Jackson's claim that he was innocent, Kurtzrock said he was "living in a fantasy world."
Careccia and Johnson did not speak to a reporter as they left court.
Jackson was the only one of the four suspects convicted at trial. The others pleaded guilty to their roles in the attack.
Thompson, 32, of Brooklyn, is serving 16 years to life in prison. Natalie Desir, 28, of Nyack, was sentenced last year to 3 years in prison.
Theodore Briggs, 41, of the Bronx, is scheduled to be sentenced in June. Prosecutors said he did not the enter the house, but drove the getaway car.