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Press Release

Three Anchorage Men Convicted in Home Invasion Robbery Trial

March 5, 2015

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, three men were convicted by an Anchorage jury of crimes related to an August 2012 home invasion robbery. Richard Arlen Erdman (28 years old), Taylor Ross Smith (26 years old), and James Earl Smith (21 years old) were convicted of robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and theft in the second degree.

On August 9, 2012, Taylor Smith, Richard Erdman, James Smith, and an unidentified man broke into a residence in the area of Karluk Street and 15th Avenue in Anchorage. The men assaulted a male occupant of the residence who suffered significant injuries. They stole the occupants' belongings and then fled. Several 911 calls were made and the police caught up with the getaway vehicle within minutes. An officer conducted a traffic stop. Three male defendants exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

Anchorage Police continued to investigate the incident and eventually identified the three defendants. They were indicted in January 2013 and later arrested. The trial began on February 3, 2015 and concluded on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. The jury deliberated for approximately two days and returned guilty verdicts against all three defendants on all of the charges.

The defendants face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison for robbery in the first degree, a class A felony. The actual sentence will depend on the criminal history of the defendant as well as other sentencing factors which must be considered by the court. James Smith will be sentenced on June 12, 2015 by Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton. The remaining defendants will be sentenced at a later date to be determined by the court.

A neighbor's timely 911 call was a critical aspect of the State's ability to successfully prosecute this case.

FOR QUESTIONS OR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE CONTACT: Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion @ (907) 269-6324 or clint.campion@alaska.gov at the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office.

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