Criminal Justice News

Friday, May 29, 2015

Two Tennessee Men Plead Guilty to Killing During Home Invasion Robbery

Two Tennessee men pleaded guilty to using a firearm to kill during a home invasion robbery they conducted on May 7, 2011, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Rivera of the Middle District of Tennessee.

Demario Winston, 27, of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Michael Massey, 26, of Lexington, Tennessee, pleaded guilty before Chief District Court Judge Kevin H. Sharp of the Middle District of Tennessee to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery and use of a firearm in a crime of violence resulting in death.  Massey also pleaded guilty to attempted Hobbs Act Robbery.  A sentencing hearing for Massey is scheduled for Sept. 18, 2015, and a sentencing hearing for Winston will be scheduled at a later date.

According admissions reflected in the plea agreements, on May 7, 2011, Winston, Massey and others attempted to rob a home in Clarksville, and Massey used a sledge hammer to gain entry.  The conspirators previously had been advised that a large amount of cocaine and cash was stored inside a safe in the basement of the home.

The defendants further admitted that, while inside the home, Winston, who was armed with a 9mm pistol, engaged in a gun fight with the homeowner on the first floor as other conspirators attempted to force one of the occupants of the home, Raul Triana, to open the safe in the basement, and pistol-whipped him in the face in the process.  Evidence introduced in the plea hearing indicated that in response to the shooting on the first floor, some of the conspirators fled the home, and Massey, who was armed with an assault rifle, fled through the basement where he encountered Triana and shot and killed him.

In addition, according to the statement of facts in support of Massey’s plea, on Oct. 21, 2011, he and a co-defendant robbed the owner of a Clarksville-based construction company at gunpoint.

This case was investigated by the Clarksville Police Department and the DEA.  The case is being prosecuted by Laura Gwinn of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynne T. Ingram of the Middle District of Tennessee.

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