Prosecutor: Third of four home-invaders sentenced to 60 years

On May 20, 2013, Judge Stephen Bowers, of the Elkhart Superior Court 2, sentenced 16 year old, Tievon Nichols, of Elkhart, Indiana, who was one of four charged burglars of a West Jackson Blvd. home on July 25, 2012, according to the Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office. During the commission of the crime, the Defendants entered the house that was occupied by two adult females and two children, ages 3 and 6, while brandishing a firearm. Upon initial entry, the perpetrators confronted one of the female occupants in her bedroom while her 3 year old child was in bed in the same room, and while they proceeded to steal items from inside their home. In addition, one of the invaders placed a gun to one of the victim’s head, pulled the trigger, and dry-fired the weapon. During the crime, the suspects threatened to shoot one of the children if the victim did not cooperate. After fleeing from the home, the victims immediately reported the crime and assisted the Elkhart Police Department leading to the arrest of Earl Hogan, Jr., Jayzahn Creel, Clarence Parker, II, and Tievon Nichols. The Defendants were all charged with one count of Burglary While Armed with a Deadly Weapon, a Class A Felony, two counts of Robbery While Armed with a Deadly Weapon, Class B Felonies, and one count of Criminal Confinement, a Class B Felony.
At the sentencing hearing, the two female adult victims testified about how the terrorizing events of July 25, 2012, have had a ripple effect throughout their family, and that the impact will last forever. The Deputy Prosecutor, Nathaniel C. Henson, when characterizing the burglary and arguing for an aggravated sentence, deferred to statements made by the victims, calling the Defendant and his accomplices, “Bogeymen,” and the incident “the stuff of nightmares.”
In handing down the sixty year sentence, Judge Bowers placed considerable weight on the mitigating factor that the Defendant was so young, but then went on to characterize the incident as “torture.” Judge Bowers also noted that the Defendant was an admitted gang member, and was active in the gang at the time of the burglary. Of that sixty year sentence, the Defendant will be required to serve forty five of those years at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by 15 years of reporting probation.
Earl Hogan, Jr., and Jayzahn Creel were both sentenced in April. Earl Hogan, Jr. was sentenced to serve 38 of his 60 year sentence at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by 22 years of reporting probation. Jayzahn Creel was sentenced to serve 35 of his total 52 year sentence at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by 17 years of reporting probation. Clarence Parker, II has pled guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 3, 2013.