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Four plead guilty in brutal home invasion

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Two of the suspects in a brutal summertime Briar home invasion pled guilty this week and received prison sentences of 40 and 50 years.

Four plead guilty in brutal home invasion

Last June, officers found Marvin Zimmerman, 81, bound and gagged, lying on the floor of his home in the 1400 block of New Hope Road. Investigators said Zimmerman had been tied up for several days before he was discovered.

Jimmy Ray Murrell, 50, of Fort Worth, pled guilty to aggravated robbery Tuesday morning in Decatur’s 271st District Court. He received a 50-year prison sentence. Due to the seriousness of the charge, he’ll have to serve half his sentence before becoming eligible for parole, making him almost the age of the victim by the time he might be released.

His plea came a day after Roger Lee Hammons, 49, of Fort Worth, pled guilty to the same crime and received 40 years in prison.

Two more suspects, Sheri Lynn White, 48, and Michael Anthony Cordova, 33, both of Fort Worth, pled guilty last week and are expected to receive 10-year sentences. Neither took part in the actual robbery or beating and torture of Zimmerman, but assisted in the crime in other ways.

One of the suspects told investigators they thought an elderly man living alone in the country “would be an easy hit.” Investigators said Murrell and Hammons invaded Zimmerman’s home and bound him to a chair, then proceeded to shock him several times with a stun gun and kick and punch him while demanding he tell them where valuables were hidden in the home.

“They left his hands and feet tied with duct tape to a chair,” said Assistant District Attorney Tim Cole. “He was also handcuffed and left there for at least two days with no food or water. He was lucky to survive.”

Cole said they were looking for a store of cash that was never there. They made off with only a few possessions.

Zimmerman, who had let Murrell and White live with him with they were going through hard times, was hospitalized for several days before being released. He now stays in an assisted-living home.

Early in the investigation, a fifth man, Christopher Hammons, 26, was arrested. He was later cleared of any connection to the crime.

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