Man sentenced in September 2007 home invasion

Monday, July 7, 2008 | 7:16 p.m. CDT; updated 9:27 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — One of five men charged in a north Columbia home invasion last September was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday for his role in the home’s robbery and the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl who lived there.

Jarrod Alexander Lilly, 30, pleaded guilty to Class C felony sexual assault and first-degree robbery in 13th Circuit Court. Circuit Judge Jodie Asel sentenced Lilly to seven years for the sexual assault and 20 years for the robbery charge, to be served concurrently. Five of the charges against Lilly were dropped: felonious restraint, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, first-degree burglary and armed criminal action.

Two other men charged in the incident, twin brothers James T. and Jamie C. Harris, 16, who were scheduled to be tried today, were granted a continuance for discovery and negotiation. They each face charges of felonious restraint, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action, according to Missouri Casenet.

John Gunn, the father of the victims, said he expects that the Harris twins will also enter plea agreements.

“We’re done with it,” Gunn said. “The prosecutor did his job. By them taking a plea bargain, [my] kids don’t have to deal with it anymore.”

Gunn said that prosecutors consulted with him before offering the plea deals and that he agreed because his children did not want to see the perpetrators again.

The crime occurred on Sept. 18, 2007, when Gunn and his wife, Anita, left their five children, ages 7 to 16, at home for an evening out. Five men, at least one of whom was armed, waited for the parents to leave before entering the house on Citadel Drive. Faces covered with bandanas, the men bound some of the children with duct tape. They then ransacked the house, stealing anything of value, including a video game console, jewelry, food, household furnishings and change. The oldest daughter, 16, at the time of the incident, was then raped and sodomized.

On June 23, the other two men charged in the crime pleaded guilty. Christopher Lee Jacobs, now 18, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree robbery and first-degree burglary. Jacobs received sentences of 15 years for the robbery and seven years for the burglary, to be served concurrently.

Patrick J. Burgess, 16 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty to felony sexual assault and first-degree robbery. Burgess received seven years for the sexual assault and 18 years for the robbery, to be served concurrently.

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