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“My life has been shattered,” one victim told the judge before sentencing.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A child’s note saying “I hope you have fun in jail” was read at the sentencing hearing of a convicted robber who received a 28-year sentence Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke for his role in two home invasions.
Whitney Lynch read her daughter’s note to David Anthony Taylor, who was convicted of breaking into Lynch’s Roanoke County home with herself, her husband and children present in 2009.
“Dear meanie,” the note began.
Lynch spoke in coarse terms as she described the severe effect the incident has had on her family.
“My life has been shattered,” she said.
For her daughter, the family home is a near-constant reminder of the break-in, she said. One of her sons has withdrawn since the incident and one has donned the mantle of “tough guy” at age 8. Her husband is so angry he couldn’t be present in court Tuesday, she said.
“He saw … unspeakable things. His children with guns on their heads,” she said.
Their marriage is weakening, she said. She has been unable to maintain her career and was declared disabled, she said. She wants to move, but the family lacks the resources. They can’t even find the money to get their kicked-in door replaced , she said.
“It is an everyday struggle,” Lynch said. “I will never be able to get back what we had.”
In January, a jury convicted Taylor, 46, of Roanoke, of involvement in two home-invasion robberies. Representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Roanoke have said Taylor belonged to a crew that specialized in robbing drug dealers of cash, drugs, weapons and other valuables. Taylor has used the moniker “Taliban.”
Lynch said no drugs were found at her house, but defense attorney Seth Weston told her that her husband previously testified to having a role in a $5,000 marijuana deal.
Judge Glen Conrad heard evidence that Taylor participated in two other robberies and has a long criminal record dating to at least age 18.
Conrad told Taylor, who was already in custody and will go directly to prison, that he committed “very, very serious crimes.”
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