Springhill, La. –– Two men and a teenager were sentenced for holding a mixed-animal veterinarian at gunpoint while his house was ransacked. The veterinarian was at home with his daughter during the incident.
SPRINGHILL, LA. –– Two men and a teenager were sentenced for holding a mixed-animal veterinarian at gunpoint while his house was ransacked. The veterinarian was at home with his daughter during the incident.
On a January evening in 2006, Dr. Wayne McMahen, DVM, and his wife drove 30 miles out of town to watch their daughter, a high-school cheerleader, perform at a basketball game. Afterward, his wife went to his practice, McMahen Veterinary Hospital in Springhill, La., to get an early start on month-end reports. He headed home — just across town — around 10 p.m. to meet his daughter, where they became the victims of a home invasion.
Geoffrey Eason, 19, Standrius White, 22, and a 17-year-old male are all behind bars after being convicted in the invasion and robbery.
Eason was sentenced to 60 years for the robbery and a parole violation; White was sentenced to 35 years; the youth, after testifying against the others, must serve out an earlier 10-year prison term for an unrelated crime.
The night of the robbery, McMahen says he opened a back door to let out the family's dog and found three men waiting on the porch. When he tried to close the door, one intruder's hand was caught in the opening, cutting his fingers. The men, wearing dark clothing, masks and hoods, then burst inside, robbing McMahen of his wedding ring, watch and wallet. One held a gun to McMahen's head while the others tore through the rest of the house, looking for cash and jewelry.
Hearing the commotion, his daughter couldn't call police: She had left her cell phone in her car and her room's portable phone in another room. She hid in her bedroom, but was found by the intruders and robbed of a jar of money she had saved from years of birthdays and baby-sitting jobs.
"I wasn't sure if these guys were going to settle down or if they were going to do something crazy. Mostly, I was just worried about my daughter," McMahen says.
The men then stole McMahen's truck and left the home. Twenty minutes later, police found the vehicle abandoned less than two miles away.
A tipster's information and DNA testing from blood left in the doorjamb helped lead to the arrests, McMahen says.
He says the robbery, committed in what he calls a safe, small town, was a frightening experience and that he and his family have taken precautions against future crime. "I'm more cautious now. We put in an alarm system. We never thought we'd have to do that."