2 Involved in Brutal Home Invasion Series to be Sentenced

A judge denied a request Friday to declare a mistrial for two members of a group involved in a brutal home invasion series in North County.

The attorney argued Aaron Rico III and Thomas Smith Jr. should have a new trial because of a piece of evidence, a wallet, that was not disclosed by prosecution until after the jury started deliberating. 

The request was denied and both were sentenced Friday. Rico was sentenced to 35 years plus 25 years to life in prison. The judge sentenced Smith to 85 years plus another 50 years to life sentence.

Rico, Smith and three others -- Stephen Gomez, Aaron Rico V, and Robin Shawvner -- entered homes through a side door at night between Jan. 31 and Feb. 11. In some incidents, no one was home, San Diego police said.

A sixth person, Victor Harvey, may have acted as a getaway driver for the group.

In at least four homes the group tied up residents, stole valuables and in some instances sexually assaulted residents, police said.

The group faces additional robbery and burglary charges connected to incidents in the Sabre Springs and Carmel Mountain Ranch area on Feb. 11. 

According to the SDUSD spokeswoman, Smith was employed with the school district from July 2012 to September 2013, working as a workability trainee in career and translation services.

Gomez, Smith and the Ricos were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, sex with a foreign object, assault during a first-degree burglary, robbery and burglary.

Shawvner faces robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime charges.

On June 4, Rico was found guilty on 27 counts and Smith was found guilty on 30 counts in connection with the home invasions. 

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