BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A jury found two men guilty in an armed home invasion in Berkeley County. Circuit Court Judge Kristi Lea Harrington sentenced Clarence Fishburne to 20 years in prison and Douglas Thompson to 15 years.
Both men were found guilty of first-degree burglary, armed robbery and kidnapping.
Testimony during the trial revealed that the victims were on the back porch of their home around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2010 in the Harbor Lake Drive area of Goose Creek when Fishburne and Thompson and a still unidentified third suspect, approached them and pointed a gun at them.
Court records state that one of the victims was placed in a chokehold by one of the suspects, at which time the suspects began demanding the victims give them their money. After taking one of the victims' wallets, the suspects then forced the two men inside their apartment at gunpoint. Inside the home at this time was the pregnant wife of one of the victims and their 3-year-old daughter who was sleeping upstairs.
As the victims were being forced inside, the wife saw what was happening and fled the apartment to get help. Two of the suspects forced the victims upstairs, while the third suspect remained downstairs as lookout and began rummaging through the victim's home looking for things to steal.
Upstairs the suspects ordered the victims to get down on their knees and threatened to kill them if they didn't give them their money. A female neighbor rushed into the apartment to check on the welfare of the 3-year-old daughter, at which time the suspects became startled and fled the apartment. In addition to wallets and money being stolen, the suspects also stole cell phones and a laptop computer belonging to the victims.
Shortly thereafter, another neighbor called 911, and when the first Berkeley County Sheriff's Deputy arrived in the area, he saw Fishburne, Thompson and the third suspect walking up Harbor Lake Drive approximately one quarter mile from the victim's home. At that time Thompson was carrying the laptop that had been stolen from the victims' home. The still unidentified third suspect fled on foot, but Thompson and Fishburne were detained.
After the victims were able to positively identify Fishburne and Thompson, they were arrested and searched. Fishburne was found to be in possession of two cell phones belonging to the victims. In addition, the victims found a phone on the floor of their living room that belonged to Fishburne.