After compelling testimony by two female victims of a home invasion, a 16-year-old Elkhart teen, charged alongside four others, was sentenced in court on Friday.
Judge Stephen Bowers, of the Elkhart Superior Court, sentenced Tievon Nichols, 16, to serve 60 years in prison for his involvement in the burglary of a West Jackson Blvd. home on July 25, 2012. Officials say Nichols and three other men entered the home of two women and two children, ages three and six, showing them their guns.
Testimony in court from the two women described the attack as “the stuff of nightmares,” as they said the men confronted one of them inside their bedroom where her child also was staying as they proceeded to rob the house.
The situation escalated when one of the invaders placed a gun to one of the women’s head and pulled the trigger to dry-fire the weapon. They threatened to shoot one of the young children should the women not cooperate with them.
The victims managed to flee the home and immediately called police to report the burglary and threats. With the women’s assistance, Elkhart Police were able to arrest Earl Hogan Jr., Jayzahn Creel, Clarence Parker II and Tievon Nichols.
Each defendant was charged with one Class A felony count of burglary while armed with a deadly weapon, two Class B felony counts of robbery while armed with a deadly weapon and a final count of criminal confinement.
The two women victimized in the home invasion testified at a sentencing hearing, noting how the terrorizing events of that night will forever impact their lives.
When Judge Bowers handed down the 60 year sentence on Friday, he placed great weight on the fact that Nichols was only 16 years old. Despite his youth, the characterization of the invasion as “torture,” and Nichol’s admitted gang membership contributed to the length of sentencing. He will spend 45 years in the Indiana Dept. of Correction and 15 years of reporting probation.
Co-perpetrators Hogan Jr. and Creel were sentenced in April, with Hogan sentenced to 38 of 60 years in the department of corrections and Creel to serve 35 of his 52 year total sentence in jail. Parker II pled guilty and is due to appear in court for sentencing on June 3.