A Nesquehoning man was sentenced to a long county prison term on Monday for his part in the home invasion of an elderly borough woman.
Michael Kent, 24, was sentenced by Senior Judge Richard W. Webb to serve 18 to 36 months in prison on charges of robbery and recklessly endangering another person. Kent is the second defendant involved in the incident that has been sentenced.
Kent and Randy Warman, 23, also of Nesquehoning, were charged with bursting into the home of Anna Klemic, who was 91 at the time, on May 16, 2006. Klemic died on Sept. 16, 2006, a month short of her 92nd birthday. Relatives said at the plea proceeding for Warman that the experience of the robbery hastened her death.
Kent was not considered the person who planned the robbery. His defense attorney, Glenn M. Goodge, said his client was a "follower" not a leader and that Warman had planned the robbery.
After his arrest Kent told investigators that Warman initially burst into the home while he waited outside. He said when he entered the home he saw Warman tying up Klemic and holding a knife to her throat. Warman, at his plea hearing, claimed Kent had the knife and that it was his idea to rob the woman.
Warman has been sentenced to a state prison term. He also received a state prison term in Schuylkill County for a robbery he committed at a Shenandoah business later the same day as the home invasion incident.
Kent had previously pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and asked for a jury trial. The case has been lingering for some time because of legal moves by Kent in pleading and then changing his mind, and changing lawyers.
He told Webb that he was addicted to heroin and that his head was not clear at prior proceedings. He claimed he did fear for Klemic and at one point tried to loosen the bindings on Klemic but was told not to by Warman.
He told Webb, "I'm very sorry for what happened. It's the worst decision I ever made in my life."
Goodge said Kent still battles the drug problem but is doing the best he can. He said his client is a father of two and his children are his main focus.
Webb said the case was bothersome to him and realizes that Kent's part in it was not as much as Warman.
In addition to the jail term, Webb ordered Kent to get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, supply a DNA sample and pay the $250 fee, zero tolerance on drug or alcohol use, have no contact with Warman and was given credit for 35 days spent in jail on the charges.
He began the jail term immediately.