COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The fourth co-defendant in the 2020 deadly Upatoi Ridge subdivision home invasion was sentenced Wednesday afternoon.
Laqwane Kindred was sentenced on Feb. 8 to 15 years in prison, nine years and two months to serve. That is higher than the recommendation made by the prosecution in a plea deal agreed to Monday. That recommendation was 15 years, seven to serve. The state objected, even though it appeared to be a heavier sentence because Kindred will serve it in the Muscogee County Prison on Schatulga Road. Kindred could get additional credit for time served in the Muscogee County Prison that he would not get in another state prison.
Monday, Kindred entered a guilty plea to robbery, which is a nonviolent crime in Georgia. Nonviolent crimes are subject to an earlier parole date.
After a brief bench conference, the judge held a recess so prosecutors and defense could research the law to see if he was within his judicial authority.
Kindred’s defense attorney, William Kendrick, explained the modified deal.
“It really just gives him an opportunity to do the time here in this area. The judge fashioned the sentence in a way that would really be identical to the amount of time that he would likely serve in the prison system. But with him not having any prior felonies and never being sentenced to a prison system before this allow for him to be local, be with his family, but still serve out the sentence and to work for this community,” Kendrick said.
Inmates in the Muscogee County Prison do various jobs across the city ranging from picking up trash to cleaning public facilities.
District Attorney Stacey Jackson explains why the state objected to changing the agreed upon sentence.
“The point is, is that the fact that there are guidelines with someone who is sentenced to the Department of Corrections and that’s why we agreed, the plea agreement was 15 serve seven. Not the months that he was sentenced to the Muscogee County Prison, because we have no way of knowing how much time that he may actually serve on that particular sentence,” Jackson said.
Kendrick asked the court to give his client first time offender status. Judge Martin granted that request after the state did not object to start with, but then objected later in the hearing. This means the conviction will be wiped from Kindred’s record upon completion of the 15-year sentence without any additional legal issues.
Cross Henderson, 21, was killed during a home invasion in which drugs were stolen from his mother’s home, Autumn Tillery. More on our previous coverage can be found below.
Feb. 8, 2023: Third co-defendant in deadly Upatoi home invasion sentenced | WRBL
Feb. 6, 2023: All six co-defendants in deadly 2020 Upatoi home invasion enter guilty pleas ranging from murder to robbery | WRBL
Feb. 4, 2023: UPDATE: Four suspects charged in 2020 Upatoi murder appear in court ahead of trial (wrbl.com)
Feb. 18, 2020: Autumn Tillery as bond denied: ‘I am going to die in jail. I am in here with murderers’ | WRBL
Feb. 18, 2020: Mother of man killed in Upatoi home invasion arrested on multiple drug charges | WRBL
Jan. 28, 2020: POLICE: Upatoi home invasion work of gang that targets drug dealers | WRBL
Jan. 27, 2020: Preliminary hearing in Upatoi home invasion murder set for Tuesday | WRBL
Jan. 23, 2020: POLICE: All five adults arrested in Upatoi home invasion have criminal records | WRBL
Jan. 22, 2020: Police arrest 6 suspects in weekend Upatoi Ridge murder | WRBL
Jan. 18, 2020: One dead after shooting in Upatoi Ridge in Columbus | WRBL
Jan. 18, 2020: Three Columbus homicides in less than 24 hours, police investigating | WRBL