Two men kicked in door and held folks inside at gunpoint in search for money
MANATEE -- Two Bradenton men charged in a 2014 home invasion robbery will serve life in prison.
In an almost bare courtroom, Manatee Circuit Judge Diana Moreland sentenced Larry J. Jackson, 27, and Michael Jerome Davis, 35. Tuesday was Jackson's birthday.
"I'm very pleased with the sentence from Judge Moreland. I thought that was a fair and just sentence," said Assistant State Attorney Garrett Franzen. "I don't just ask for life because I can get it but this case, I thought, definitely warranted it. It was a horrible, frightening crime to truly innocent victims."
Shortly after midnight Sept. 8, 2014, Bradenton police said Jackson and Davis kicked in the door of the residence in the 3900 block of 37th Street Court West, then held several occupants at gunpoint while they searched for money.
They took a purse and an undisclosed amount of money, according to a release.
A neighbor who heard the commotion came outside, saw the suspects driving away in a vehicle and provided a description to police, according to a report.
Police tried to stop a vehicle matching the description, but the car failed to stop, police said. Jackson and Davis eventually pulled into a residential driveway and attempted to run but were caught by police.
A victim brought to the scene and identified the suspects. Money stolen from the home and a firearm were inside the vehicle.
Jackson and Davis were charged with armed home invasion, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon or ammunition by a felon, according to records.
A jury found the men guilty Sept. 10.
Davis' sister and Jackson's cousin, Lashanda Davis, rushed to the courtroom early Tuesday evening to show support at the sentencing. The 36-year-old stood outside the Manatee Judicial Center afterward still dressed in her work uniform.
"It hit me so hard and I didn't understand it," Davis said, her voice breaking. "They all getting taken away, you know."
Davis said she's already lost a brother who was shot to death several years ago, and another is going to get locked up for 10 years.
"It's just me," she said. "It's hard."
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter@AmarisCastillo.