By Joe Johnson
The second of three co-defendants in an Athens home-invasion armed robbery over two years ago has been sentenced to a diversion center and probation.
As part of a plea bargain on Thursday, 21-year-old Joseph McElhannon of Lexington pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault and a second count of that offense and one count of armed robbery were dismissed, according to Athens-Clarke County Superior Court records.
Pursuant to the plea bargain, Western Judicial Circuit Judge Lawton Stephens sentenced McElhannon to eight years in confinement, to be suspended upon serving six to nine months at the county pretrial diversion center, and the balance of the sentence to be served on probation.
The plea deal and sentencing occurred one month after co-defendant Maryon Terrell Davis, 19, of Crawford entered into a similar arrangement, in which he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of robbery by force in return for the armed robery vcharge and two counts ofaggravated assault were dismissed. Davis received an eight-year sentence, the first six to nine months of which to be served at the diversion Center, and the balance on probation, according to Superior Court records.
As part of their probation, McElhannon and Davis are required to cooperate, and possibly testify, in the prosecution of the third defendant, 21-year-old Darien Montrell Appling of Athens.
They cannot possess firearms and must obtain GEDs.
According to Athens-Clarke County police, the home invasion occurred on June 5, 2019 at the Fourth Street Village apartment complex in which a male resident was robbed at gunpoint of a bank card, a cellphone, a key fob and a wallet, and was also pistol-whipped during the incident.
The victim told police that a single, masked gunman had forced his way into his residence, but police said an investigation determined that the three co-defendants had been involved.