The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

September 29, 2012

Pair who put couple through ‘horrific’ assault going to prison

SHARON — Two of the three people who admitted luring a man and a woman to a Sharon home last year and putting them through an ordeal prosecutors called a “horrific” were sentenced to prison this week.

The third person, who admitted attempting to sexually assault  the woman, asked for a one-month delay.

Billy Jones, 42, of 402 Cedar Ave., Sharon, and Ladonna E. Napier, 37, of 164 Wallis Ave., Farrell, each pleaded guilty July 17 to charges of aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit theft.

Mercer County Common Pleas Judge John C. Reed sentenced Jones, who had a much more extensive criminal record than Napier, to 3 years, 3 months to 7 years in prison, and Napier to 1 to 5 years in prison, followed by 2 years’ probation.

Joseph C.E. Kirkland, 50, 423 E. Budd St., Sharon, and/or 34 Beechwood Ave., Wheatland, will be sentenced Oct. 24 on charges of aggravated assault and attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. He also pleaded guilty July 17.

The crime occurred Dec. 1, when a then-20-year-old Brookfield woman and a then-22-year-old Burghill man were lured to a home in the 300 block of George Street, police said.

The man was stripped, tied up, beaten and threatened with a razor blade over several hours, while Kirkland kept the woman in another room and tried to make her perform oral sex on him, police said.

“This is a horrific crime,” Assistant District Attorney Brian Farrone said. “It cannot be tolerated.”

The couple went there to return property to the homeowner, Jackie Shirley, police said. Shirley was charged but prosecutors withdrew them in July, after the others’ guilty pleas were entered.

Farrone asked Reed to sentence Napier in the aggravated range of sentencing guidelines, which drew a protest from her attorney, Stephen Delpero.

Napier cooperated with police and the request for an aggravated-range sentence violated the spirit of the plea agreement, Delpero said.

Reed responded that he had no intention of an aggravated-range sentence, but rebuffed the defense request for concurrent sentences on the charges.

Jones’ attorney, Randall T. Hetrick, also asked for concurrent sentences, arguing that Jones has worked steadily, has mental health issues and his role in the crime was less.

“It appears he was not the ring leader of this group,” Hetrick said.

Reed also ordered consecutive sentences for Jones, noting that he has 17 convictions and one parole violation on his record.

All three convicted also will be assessed $4,751 restitution owed to the male victim

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