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Two of four men charged in the home invasion robbery, beating and attempted shooting of a Bronson man in his home while his mother, stepfather and two children, ages three and seven, were inside the home, have been convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison following a two-day trial.
A Levy County jury deliberated for two hours on Thursday, Feb. 28, before returning the guilty verdicts in the trial of Jeovany Ortiz, 36, and Janiel Molina-Perez, 21. The two were immediately sentenced to 30 years each by Senior Circuit Judge Aymer L. Curtin.
Both faced potential life sentences on charges of conspiracy to commit home invasion robbery, burglary with battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest without violence.
A third co-defendant in the case, Christopher Pate, pled to the charges and is serving a 30-year sentence.
The final man charged in the case, Armando Perez, is scheduled for trial next month on home invasion robbery, felony battery and aggravated assault charges.
A Levy County Sheriff's Office press release said the four planned to have Pate lure the victim outside the home where he would be robbed by the other three men, but the plan changed after the victim refused to come outside and instead let Pate inside the home. Once inside Pate discussed smoking marijuana with and buying crack cocaine from the victim.
During the discussion, Ortiz and Janiel Perez, wearing masks and armed with a pistol and baseball bat, stormed in and demanded money. Pate pulled a toy gun out and also threatened the victim.
The victim resisted and tried to take their weapons away, but he was pistol whipped before they fled on foot.
As they left, Ortiz turned and fired at the victim missing him by inches. The shots woke up the stepfather who grabbed a shotgun and fired it into the air to scare off the men.
The victim sustained a head laceration and was transported to a hospital.