Orange City, IA (KICD) -- An Orange City teen has been found guilty on Robbery and Burglary charges.
Sioux County Attorney Coleman J. McAllister announced that 16-year old Leandro Valdez was found guilty on December 6, 2012, by a Sioux County jury of the crimes of Robbery in the First Degree, a Class B Felony, and Burglary in the First Degree, a Class B Felony, Because of the nature of the charges, under Iowa law, Valdez was charged in adult court. The trial occurred December 4th - 6th.
Valdez was accused and convicted by the jury of participating in an armed robbery and burglary at a residence in Orange City, on August 30th. At the trial, the victim testified that he awoke to find five intruders in his bedroom at approximately 11:30 p.m. on August 30th. The intruders were dressed in black and wearing ski masks. One of the intruders was armed with a handgun and three others were armed with knives. The victim testified that the intruders demanded money from him, threatened to kill him, and held him at gunpoint as they ransacked his home searching for valuables.
The resident testified that he was able to flee the home by pushing past one the attackers, when his attention was diverted, and tumbled down a flight of stairs. The intruders pursued him, beating and kicking him, but he was able to get to a neighbor's home where the neighbor called 911. At trial, the victim testified that he was able to identify only one of the attackers, Valdez, whose face he was able to observe when his ski mask fell off during the robbery. Valdez was taken into custody a few hours after the incident. To date, no one else has been formally charged in the incident.
Sentencing is set for January 28, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. At the time of sentencing, Valdez faces a mandatory prison term of 25 years on each count. The Court must determine whether these sentences will be served concurrently or consecutively. On the robbery charge, Valdez must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 17.5 years before he is eligible for parole.