Sanchez found guilty
Several members of Johnatan Sanchez’s family broke down into tears as the clerk of court read the word “guilty” to each of four counts of first-degree robbery.
After hearing the verdict, defense attorney Jeffrey Powell asked that the jury be polled. One after another, the five men and three women who sat on the jury acknowledged that their verdict had been read. Once the poll was done, Judge Randy DeGiest addressed one more crime that the court had deliberated on – felon in possession of a firearm. DeGiest also found Sanchez guilty of the Class D felony.
Bond was revoked and DeGiest ordered Sanchez to be taken into custody to await sentencing on Oct. 25. As sheriff’s deputies took Sanchez into custody, he hugged several crying family members.
Washington County Attorney Larry Brock said he was happy with the verdict and that he plans to seek a minimum sentence of 50 years in prison. The four counts of first-degree robbery are each a Class B felony that could bring up to 25 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
“At this point we will most likely argue two of those counts run consecutively for 50 years with a mandatory minimum of 35,” Brock said.
Powell declined comment on the trial.
During the trial, which began Tuesday, jurors heard from 12 witnesses during testimony on Wednesday and Thursday. The jury went to deliberation this morning at 10:30 a.m. A verdict was reached at about 12:45 p.m.
According to court records, on Saturday, March 9, at about 3 a.m. Sanchez allegedly threatened five people with a double-barreled shotgun and robbed them. The records say that Sanchez was at a residence at 410 East Madison Street in Washington and that several subjects were at the residence. The report says that Sanchez grabbed the shotgun from the corner of the living room and pointed it at five different subjects. It was reported that he pointed the gun at their heads and chests. The record alleges Sanchez ordered the subjects to empty their pockets and that he removed all the cash from the subjects’ property, then returned the property to them. The report said that he stole about $270 cash and some marijuana from the victims.
A search of Iowa Courts Online shows that Sanchez has 17 prior arrests. He was convicted on Sept. 1, 2012, of fifth-degree theft; on Oct. 17, 2011, of second-degree theft; on Feb. 17, 2011, of assault causing injury; on Oct. 25, 2010, of possession of drug paraphernalia; and on Feb. 17, 2011, of fifth-degree theft.