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A 22-year-old man convicted of participating in a home invasion in Lafayette Village with three others received the most severe punishment of the four on Tuesday.
Devonte J. Hayes was sentenced to 66 years in prison for breaking into a James City County apartment while masked, robbing its occupants and shooting a then-20-year-old man.
He will serve 14 years of his sentence, as Judge Michael McGinty suspended 26 years each on the felony armed robbery and felony breaking and entering charges. Hayes received a mandatory three-year sentence on the two use of a firearm in the commission of a felony charges.
In addition, Hayes will serve three years – concurrently with the three-year sentences for the firearms charges – for a probation violation he received in February 2014, leaving him with a total of 17 years of active incarceration.
Hayes was convicted of grand larceny and received a five-year suspended sentence in February 2011, but had to serve two of the five suspended years after violating his probation.
He was released in April 2013, and on Jan. 4, 2014, he and three others — Christopher Allen Williams, Marklin Antonio Mitchell Jr. and D’Andre Andrews Hardy — walked into the apartment of a drug dealer after seeing a photo of him “flashing money” on Facebook and robbed the homeowner and several others in the home, prosecutors said.
At one point during the robbery, Hayes shot one of the occupants in the neck and upper arm. The man has since made a full recovery.
Former Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Gaten said at Hayes’ plea hearing the three other robbers described Hayes as “hysterical” after the shooting and said Hayes punched a hole in the wall.
An anonymous witness tipped officers of four men exiting a gold Taurus in front of the apartment after the robbery, and officers followed the car to a house on Algonquin Trail in Grove and then to the 7-Eleven on Pocahontas Trail, where they arrested Hayes, who was driving the car, and Mitchell, who was in the passenger seat.
Hardy and Williams were arrested nearby at the home on Algonquin Trail.
McGinty heard from Hayes’ father and childhood friend during the sentencing hearing, who both said Hayes came from a good family but became influenced by bad people, drugs and alcohol.
“I know that in his heart there is the utmost potential to be good,” his friend said.
McGinty said the incident was “just about as serious as it can get other than someone getting killed. … This is about the most serious case we can have in this community.”
All four men have now been sentenced. Williams was given 53 years with all but 12 years suspended, and Hardy and Mitchell each received a 20-year sentence with all but 17 and 16 years suspended, respectively.