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Smithsburg man pleads guilty to home invasion robbery

Judge orders presentence investigation for Jesse Cole Lombardi

February 23, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Lombardi
Lombardi

The trial of Jesse Cole Lombardi ended Thursday morning when he pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to a 2011 home invasion robbery in Smithsburg.

The plea came on the same day that another man charged in the robbery, Victor McCormick, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for armed robbery, first-degree assault and third-degree burglary.

Lombardi’s jury trial began on Wednesday before Judge Donald E. Beachley, but he pleaded guilty Thursday morning to the same counts as McCormick. The prosecution is recommending that Lombardi’s sentence be capped at 20 years incarceration.

Beachley ordered a presentence investigation be conducted prior to Lombardi’s sentencing.

Lombardi, 19, of 60 S. Main St., Smithsburg, and McCormick, 20, of 12906 Bradbury Ave., were charged with a robbery at the West Henrietta Street home of Annette Cooper and her son on the night of Aug. 12, 2011.

Smithsburg police had responded to a report of a robbery in progress involving two masked men, one with a shotgun, the other with a knife, according to the statement of probable cause. The mother and son told police the men demanded money and drugs, threatening to kill them and to burn the son’s eyes out with cigarettes, the charging documents said.

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The intruder with the shotgun put it against Cooper’s head and “asked her if she wanted to die,” the documents said.

The son fled to a neighbor’s house, but Cooper was still inside and afraid to leave even after police identified themselves, the documents said.

Police went to Lombardi’s house, which was around the corner from Cooper’s, and found a shotgun and a knife, as well as a 42-inch television, a laptop computer, a guitar case and other items belonging to the victims.

Judge Daniel Dwyer earlier this month denied most of a defense motion to suppress evidence seized in the search, ruling that Lombardi’s mother had given police “implicit consent” to search the house for suspects.

The items allowed into evidence, including the shotgun and television wet from rain, were found in the course of searching for suspects, he ruled.

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