PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – The second of two men accused in a deadly Greene County home invasion has pleaded guilty to the crime.
Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said Lavell Branch-Griffin, 19, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated residential burglary.
Greene County Circuit Judge Randy Philhours sentenced Branch-Griffin to 92 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Branch-Griffin's co-defendant, Rashon Webb, 19, of Jonesboro pleaded guilty to the same charges on August 26. He was also sentenced to 92 years in prison.
According to the Paragould Police Department on Sunday, November 18, 2012, a woman stopped an officer in the 800-block of North 15thAvenue to report that two men brandishing handguns had knocked on her door asking to use the phone.
The woman said the men then forced their way into her home and stole an undisclosed amount of money. She was uninjured.
Then a few hours later around 6am Monday November 19, 2012, officers were called to a home in the 800-block of East Court Street regarding an aggravated robbery with shots fired.
When police arrived, they found Clinton M. Mason, 90, suffering from a gunshot wound.
Mason was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he later died.
Investigators from Arkansas State Police and the Greene County Sheriff's Office assisted in quickly tracking down the teenagers.
"It's such a shame that [Mr. Mason] fought the Nazis, fought the Germans and helped fight off Hitler to die at the hands of something like this in his own home," the judge said before sentencing Branch-Griffin. "And that doesn't even touch, or it doesn't even mention what you and Mr. Webb did to your own families and to your own lives. What a waste."