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Shotgun wielding assailants convicted

SoVaNow.com / September 16, 2013
Two Nathalie men who wielded shotguns as they broke into a home and robbed its occupants were convicted Thursday in Halifax County Circuit Court.

Eric Lamont Canada, 23, and Brooks Deshaun Boyd, 29, both of Nathalie, were found guilty of identical counts of robbery, burglary and use of a firearm.

Both men are being held in jail pending their sentencing hearing at a later date.

The men were arrested on Jan. 5, several hours after police were called out to investigate an early morning robbery at a residence on the 9000 block of L.P. Bailey Highway.

According to police reports and testimony at the trial, Canada and Boyd kicked in a door to the home and threatened the occupants at gunpoint, taking money, cell phones and other items from four individuals.

Deputies responded around 5 a.m. that Saturday morning after a female caller at the home called the E911 Dispatch Center to report the crime. She said she could hear the men demanding money of others who were in the house.

According to testimony, Canada and Boyd had been waiting outside the house where a card game was taking place when two occupants of the home exited to check on their vehicles. The first person testified to seeing two individuals dressed in dark clothing, wearing ski masks and each carrying a shotgun. The person ran and escaped.

The second person leaving the home was stopped by Canada and Boyd, who threatened to shoot him if they were not allowed entry into the home.

The suspects subsequently broke into the home and robbed four individuals inside.

Officers with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Department and the Town of Halifax who arrived in the aftermath of the crime searched for several hours before apprehending Canada and Boyd several miles away from the house.

Officers also recovered the two firearms used in the home invasion as well as several items the culprits had taken.

A third man, 28-year-old Andrew Hankins of Halifax, was charged with being the get-away driver for Boyd and Canada. His trial is set for a future date.

On Thursday, Canada and Boyd were each convicted of four counts of robbery with a firearm; burglary of a dwelling while armed with a deadly weapon with intent to commit robbery; use of a firearm in the commission of robbery; use of a firearm in the commission of burglary; conspiracy to commit robbery; and conspiracy to commit burglary while armed with a deadly weapon.

Several of the original charges made in the case were dismissed, including robbery, abduction for pecuniary benefit, use of a firearm in abduction and grand larceny.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Freshour, who prosecuted the case, agreed to drop two counts of robbery prior to the trial because witnesses amended their original statements to law enforcement, leaving insufficient evidence to prove the two counts of robbery.



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