tv Lockup MSNBC November 29, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. i was diagnosed with this thing called o.d.d. oppositional defiance disorder. which is basically like [ bleep ] the man. >> a young inmate with a big personality and a long record now faces another problem. >> a gambling problem but we're trying to work on that. >> and -- >> 26 plus years on the bench.
this is one of the worst cases that i've seen. >> four other inmates are in jail after a shocking home invasion robbery and rape. >> i've lost countless hours of sleep trying to avoid the nightmares of that night replaying in my head. >> one defendant will stand apart from the others. >> when you put your mind to it, you've got to keep slapping the wall. >> though nothing will prepare him for what's to come. >> get this mike off. i'm done with this [ bleep ]. come on, [ bleep ] mike off me. by most accounts, grand rapids, 20 miles east of lake michigan, is an ideal place to live. but like all cities it has an underside. when crime occurs here or in the
outlying areas, the arrested parties are likely to spend time at the kent county jail. >> spread your legs as far apart as you can. >> most of the 1,000 male and female inmates here are accused of crimes and are awaiting trial for the resolution of their cases. jail officials take strides to house inmates in a manner that will minimize any problems. >> how you doing? good. >> we evaluate everybody that comes in. their risk, their need. we have housing areas of inmates of the same type of risks, same type of needs, and that's how you keep your jail as safe as possible. >> some cases, however, require the jail to take extra precautions. >> d1, can you open 42, please? >> we now have a case in the jail that involves four suspects that are involved in a very serious criminal sexual assault and home invasion. and the importance of keeping those people separate as
full-time responsibility for us. because you can have some very violent situations where if one of those suspects wants to get to the other one before he talks about the case, his life is in danger while he's here. >> the four suspects were booked into the jail one year earlier on charges of first-degree home invasion, armed robbery and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a rape. a fifth suspect is a 14-year-old boy housed in the jail's juvenile wing. three of the four adult suspects, dorian jones, james hodges, and brandon townes, have pled guilty to all charges and are awaiting sentencing. >> it was supposed to be in and out, breaking and entering. once we got in there, there's people there, things just went -- like people was getting beat up, tied up. and it was basically like everything happened -- like that. >> townes says he and his co-defendants entered a home during the pre-dawn hours following a party held there the night before.
they wore masks to conceal their identities. the home belonged to students at a local college. >> we picked the house, because we knew it was a bunch of people having a party. and they said they were going to be really drunk. so why not go back later? >> according to prosecutors, three male victims in the house were robbed and pistol whipped. the one female victim reported being tied up, blindfolded, beaten, and raped by the suspects. the three who pled guilty said they did so in hopes of receiving shorter prison sentences than they would have if they were found guilty in trial. but they could still receive maximum consecutive sentences on all their charges. >> i could get 15, maybe 20 years. i'm hoping i just get 10 years. >> i know i'm going to do at least 10 years. >> i went to trial and lost, it was going to be life. so i'd rather take something than to go and give my life away and never be able to see my son and everybody.
>> one year later the three men are still in jail awaiting sentencing. they are required to wait, because the fourth adult suspect, rederick melton, pled not guilty and is taking his case to trial. >> none of the victims were able to i.d. me at the scene or the party. there is no dna evidence against me, there are no fingerprints against me. there is no actual physical evidence against me. on a scale from 1 to 10, i'm at a 9. about being found innocent. i know, the lord knows, i didn't do this. he'll judge me. >> i know justice will be served. >> when you say justice will be served, tell me what that means to you. >> me going home. you know? the truth coming out. showing that people are lying. you know? perjury. lying under oath.
>> but all of melton's co-defendants are on record saying melton played a key role, that he not only participated in the crimes but was actually a guest at the party. part of a plan in which melton would case the location for the others. >> if he gets found guilty, he'd rather go down saying he fought going down instead of, oh, i didn't take no plea like the rest of them. but when you fight, you ain't doing nothing but pissing them off. you making the judge and victims go through this night again, all this distraught, emotional. so if you do lose, you going to get hit with the max. >> melton says his co-defendants lack credibility. >> four against one. that is pretty bad odds, but four criminals. you know? >> even though hodges, jones and townes have all pled guilty to sexual criminal misconduct, they deny having committed the acts. the victim stated she could not identify their faces because they were masked.
but according to hodges, some of the victims were still able to identify melton. >> they had a party that night. so he went to the party. so they can all identify him being there. and then when she seen his body build, she -- oh, yeah, he was tall, skinny, this and this and that. >> what does the victim say about you? what was your role? >> the victim didn't say anything about me. >> what did the victim say? >> the victim said she was raped, but -- she didn't say i raped her. she didn't -- it's like this. the victim said they didn't see anybody. >> what was her description? because she gave a description of the person who raped her. correct? >> somebody dipping in my case? i think we're done here. put me in my room. somebody dipping in my case. i'm done. come get this mike off. i'm done with this [ bleep ]. [ bleep ] off me.
white people, man. coming up -- >> i'm strong. >> show him your muscles. >> brandon townes gets a visit and a deputy goes on a pursuit. >> he's calling this big foot hot line. >> see where they're at, stay away from the areas. that's where there's too many areas. want to go where the people are not.
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>> we have some mean, nasty, ugly people in jail. some real hard-core criminals. but the majority are people from our community. they're people that are going back. so i think we try really, really hard here to have our staff understand that these are just people. >> deputy justin flynn has worked at the jail for seven years and says he's bought in to that philosophy. >> nobody wants to be in jail. i'm ready to go home after eight hours. i'm trying to make their day better. these guys know that i'll talk to them all. we joke around, but if they cross a line, they're going to get time in. >> he says breaking up the monotony of jail life is important. and there are certain ways to do so. >> the game is bean bag toss. >> the more you can occupy them, the more they're distracted from getting into trouble. the one thing we can't let these guys do is -- gamble, because
this is more or less what they do up here. this one right here, that one over there. >> like horseshoes? like this? >> yeah. a little farther. >> yeah. >> andre -- ♪ ♪ >> yeah. i've been working on it for months. >> i saw that. >> yeah. that's why my head's so big. i have a wealth of knowledge. it's a success. i think it's going to be good, as long as these guys don't -- don't abuse it. >> but not everyone shares flynn's enthusiasm. >> came up with a bean bag idea. i honestly don't think it was -- he was serious about it. well, then they bought it. so now he's like, they think it's a good idea. so now i guess i got to run with it. >> justin's brother john is also a deputy at the jail. >> other than having bald heads, they're complete opposites. >> night and day. >> cory, i tried rogaine.
they lie to you. that stuff doesn't make anything grow. >> i don't think i look anything like that guy, and they think that i am sometimes him. they come up to me and ask me about these crazy stories. i say, sorry, i don't know what you're talking about. they look at me like i'm completely lying because they think i'm him. >> i'm going to head out. >> okay. >> all right. >> see ya. >> as co-workers, the brothers spend a lot of time together, but soon justin will go away for a while in order to pursue a dream. >> i'm off the whole month of june, and we're going to be out in washington and oregon. the olympic peninsula. one of the most squatchiest places on the earth. >> you going to look for sasquatch? >> i don't believe you, man. >> good luck. >> heading to washington state to go squatching. he's taking to it a whole other level. >> too many people are going after the big sasquatch. >> you're going to go for the little sasquatch. >> you've got to worry about the mom and you've got to worry about the dad.
>> i walked into his house the other day. he had about a 3 1/2-foot cardboard cutout, honest to god, standing in his living room. i said, come on, what is this? aren't bigfoots bigger, like 7, 8 foot, supposedly? he said, no, no, no. that's not what i'm looking for. he says, that's the baby squatch. >> three weeks of nothing but sasquatching. >> just in the woods, squatching? >> all day long. >> he's calling this big foot hotline to find out where the most recent activity it is. >> no. it's not a bigfoot hot is there line. you get on the internet, see where it's at, stay away from those areas. too many people. you want to go where the people are not. scent control. play the wind. got my decoy. do some yips and some yelps and we'll get him in. >> been practicing? >> yes. you go -- whoop! whoop! >> what an idiot! >> you don't really believe this. do you? >> yes. 100%.
>> take your taser? >> no. i got two guns. right there. >> good god. he's lost his mind. >> two guns. >> while his brother remains skeptical, justin has made true believers out of several inbates. like scott dipiazza. >> i'm going to research where the most squatch sightings are and then go where they're not so i can catch them in the -- i learned this from my buddy flynn. >> you don't want to go where they're overcalled. like turkey hunting. >> no. then they'll run away. go where they're not. maybe a few miles outside of the sightings. what if i put on a squatch suit? pretend to be a juvenile squatch? >> that's risky. i wouldn't do that. >> someone might shoot me? >> yeah. >> the best advice, don't listen to what he says. >> seriously. >> i'm a believer. this man is probably an idol of mine. >> he's a mentor. >> i mentor people. you just come to work and get your paycheck.
i mentor people. >> dipiazza, charged with breaking and entering into a vehicle, to which he's pled not guilty, has always had a problem with authority. >> i was diagnosed with this thing called o.d.d. oppositional defiancy disorder, which is basically, like -- [ bleep ] the man. i do get tested an awful lot because i am small, but i'm not bitch. i'm not a punk. so, you know. if people want to go there with me, then [ bleep ] it, whatever, it is what it is, i'll bite your damn ear off, i'll grab ahold of your [ bleep ] and twist them, you know? >> 21-year-old dipiazza has had numerous run-ins with the law since he was 17. he blames his most recent arrest on a combination of anxiety drugs and alcohol. >> i started drinking in the morning that day and i went over to a buddy's house of mine, hey, give me some of your pills, you
know? he has tourette's disorder. i was snorting them and eating a bunch of them. next thing i know, i just -- the next morning, everybody's like, hey. you broke in all these cars and we told you not to, and you brought back all of this stuff. here it is. and i'm like -- ah [ bleep ]. you know? >> though dipiazza has pled not guilty in hopes of reaching a deal with prosecutors, he doesn't deny having committed the crime. >> man, kicking myself in the butt. that's stuff i did when i was a kid. kids break into cars. you know? not adults. i want to be an adult. >> while dipiazza says he wants to abide by the law, he admits his life revolves around another banned activity. gambling. >> break the doors in the day room. i sit there at that poker table all day. >> you all in? call. >> that's my whole day.
play poker until lunch. east lunch. lock down an hour. get out. play poker until dinner. >> dipiazza has a gambling problem. but we're trying to work on that. i try to pull him from the table. >> no gambling. >> no gambling? >> no gambling. >> deputy flynn says he'll keep an eye on the bean bag toss to make sure it doesn't tour into a game of stakes. >> you guys like to gamble too much. scott said, hey, thanks for getting it up. i said, we can't be gambling on this. i know how he likes to gamble and this pod likes to gamble. we try to cut it down. >> what's the point system? >> in the hole is 3. >> scott's not a very good gambler, though. in life he needs to just stop gambling and do something else. >> what's scott here? >> since inmates don't have access to cash, they typically gamble snacks purchased from the jail commissary. dipiazza relied on his mother to purchase those for him.
>> about right, you good? >> she always told me, you're destined for greatness, you just need to focus your energy in good ways and not into bad ways, you know? i just want to be good. i want to make my mom proud. >> [ bleep ] it. i'm all in. >> 16. coming up -- >> give you one more. one more. >> scott dipiazza's losses mount. and -- >> last time we talked you got a little angry. >> rederick melton explains his anger.
the crimes grabbed headlines and shocked residents of grand rapids. the victims were all local college students living in a house together. three male victims were beaten and robbed. and a young woman was raped by the masked intruders. four men were arrested and are now in the kent county jail. three pled guilty. but rederick melton has pled not guilty. when we asked him about details of the female victim's description of one of her
attackers, he shut us down. >> somebody dipping into my case? i think we're done here. put me in my room. somebody dipping in my case. i'm done. >> two weeks later, melton agreed to speak with us again. >> the last time we talked to you, you kind of got a little angry. >> yeah. >> what was that about? >> it was about, like, i felt that they went to other co-defendants to get questions to ask me, like as if i had did the rape, basically accusing me. you know? i got accused. so, yes. i got upset. >> several weeks earlier, melton was placed in disciplinary segregation for fighting in his maximum security general population unit. he's now eligible to return to general population but has requested to remain in segregation. >> classification comes in 30 days. they ask you if you want to move. i say no because i'm going to trial. i'd rather have the concentration down here. so i don't move. >> besides working on his case,
melton has one other way to pass time. >> usually, like growing up, i was always at the park playing basketball. >> so i just feel, god made me a rim so that i can always play basketball. using my strength and power. slap the wall, that's when i score a shot. one point. when you put your mind to it, you got to keep slapping the wall. you're not thinking about nothing. except slapping that wall. you know? so i'm using my strength to slap the wall. over and over and over again. boom! >> i'm going show you how to do that [ bleep ]. >> one of melton's co-defendants dorian jones has pled guilty to all of his charges but must wait for melton's trial to end before he can be sentenced. he practices his shot in a maximum security general
population unit. >> shut your ass up. >> inside his cell, a third co-defendant, james hodges, also awaiting sentencing, works on other skills. >> what are you doing right now? >> creasing my shirt. the paper keeps the crinkles out, because i got to iron. got to keep the creases in it. got to look good. i keep them in my shirts, my pants. you know. it sticks out. everybody else have the greens, they don't have creases but mines do. >> how long is that stay in there for? >> i do it at least two or three days. just so i know it's -- it's really in there. >> brandon townes has a prior criminal sexual conduct conviction, which could result in a longer sentence than any of his co-defendants. >> as first i was like, i'm never going to be able to start life over again. what's the use of even trying to
live right now? >> wait for me! >> i have a son out there. i have people that care for me. so i wouldn't want to just do something to myself to hurt them. >> today, townes' 3-year-old son brandon jr. and the child's mother tynesha have come for a visit. >> brandon and i were together for four years. we split up, but my son wants to see his dad. you got to wait till daddy comes on the screen. >> okay. >> it's just hard hearing my son say, i want my dad. i want to go to my dad's house, and he can't go to his dad's house. >> hey, baby. how you doing? i miss you. >> no. >> you don't miss me? >> huh-uh. >> you want to fight? >> no. i strong. >> tell him! >> i'm strong. >> you're strong? >> yes. >> show him your muscles. you got to see. come right here so he can see you.
oh -- show him your muscles. >> dada! >> look. look at dada. >> see? say, i got bigger muscles. >> i got bigger muscles. >> on video. >> does little brandon understand where you're at right now? >> he knows enough that he knows i'm not at my house. so he knows that i'm somewhere else. >> all right, bye. >> give big hugs. >> he gave me a big hug. >> blow him a kiss. blow him a kiss? >> yes. >> how are you going to explain to him when he starts asking? >> i'm going to let him know that daddy made a mistake. when people be bad, that's where they go and you never want to be bad. >> all right. bye. >> bye. >> brandon -- brandon -- oh, lord.
coming up -- >> no one's going to hurt you, buddy. all right? >> the flynn brothers respond to an emergency before one of them heads to the wild. >> still looking for sasquatch? >> yeah. >> and -- >> why didn't you put money in my account? >> do what you got to do. stretch it out. >> scott dipiazza gets some motherly advice. due to mature subject
the day in an orderly and safe manner. but they know to always expect the unexpected. >> what's going on? >> got some problems in here. >> yes? >> deputy justin flynn encountered a peculiar situation. an inmate is lying beneath his bunk and is nonresponsive. >> no skylarking. let's go. >> for security reasons, flynn returns all other inmates to their cells before he investigates further. >> this guy was not acting right. that he was underneath his bunk. obviously, when you go in there, it looks like it's probably something mental. everything checks out otherwise. >> no one's going to hurt you. >> you get medical up here. mental health. get enough deputies in case he becomes combative. >> no one's going to hurt you, buddy. all right? >> we got him out of there and
medical checked him out and he's good to go now. >> got it under control now, justin? >> yeah. >> barnes, come on out. barnes. everything is status quo. copacetic now. >> and on that note, deputy flynn is off to pursue a dream. he's headed to the pacific northwest on a three-week quest to find bigfoot. >> what about your brother? >> yeah. actually, just talked to him two, three -- two days ago. >> how's he doing? >> he just left washington, was going to oregon. he's squatching, absolutely. yep. >> it's now up to john's older brother, deputy john flynn, to keep interested staff and inmates up to date on justin's journey. >> i don't know if he saw one. he hasn't caught one. been watching the news. quite sure he hasn't caught one yet. >> i check in with "usa today" every day. >> right. >> another sasquatch believer is 21-year-old scott dipiazza who's decided to try out a new hair-style for an upcoming visit with his mother.
>> just going to get it braided into corn rows straight to the back. hopefully it will hold and stay. >> what's your mom going to say when she sees your hair in corn rows? >> i don't know, she'll probably dig it. she supports everything i do. except for breaking the law. >> dipiazza is awaiting trial on charges of breaking and entering into a vehicle. he's had a long list of minor convictions. but depiazza says he's gotten away with far many more crimes than he's ever got caught for. >> i've done some pretty dirtball [ bleep ]. there was a members call market i used to go to. i feel like a real dirtball for this. a shoe box with wrapping paper and picture of a guy in a hospital bed with a bunch of hispanic writing, spanish writing. in american i'm sure it said something like, i'm real messed up, help me, charity box. well, you know, me being an a -- [ bleep ], i take off my backpack, put it in and left. there was like $150 in it. you know? then i justified it saying the
mexicans were probably just ripping us off anyway. like that guy was probably already dead or something and they just kept that there like a tip jar. >> oh, lord. another braid come down. i'm not going there. [ bleep ]. >> i tried. when i start doing the next braid, this braid just coming down even more. look at this. it won't stay. >> lately, dipiazza also hasn't had much luck at the poker table. he gambles for commissary snacks. >> all right, here's four right now. tone's going to get honey buns and the black guy with the lotion over there is getting honey buns -- >> you owe me one more. i gave you one more. >> i was up and then went down, and -- so i was just basically giving him what i lost. >> though dipiazza has once again taken a loss, he now has a visit from his primary source of income. his mother, lisa. she's scheduled an appointment at the jail's visitor center for
a video visit with her son. >> one minute past. mom, can you answer the phone if you're not coming? i'm like nervous and people are waiting on me. i'm like real pissed now. i don't know. i feel like a total [ bleep ] idiot. >> after half an hour, the video monitor finally clicks on, signaling lisa's arrival. >> hi, sweet. i had an appointment. >> hold on. hold on. just let me wait -- half an hour real quick. >> okay, why don't you do that? what did you do to your hair? >> come on, man. >> i had an appointment. i had to do what i had to do. grandma, i tracked her down -- >> if you had an appointment -- >> she had a flower sale at the church. >> and i sat here looking at a screen, looking like the world's biggest douche. people are laughing at me. i'm ready to freak out. i'm mad at you, and i don't want to be mad at you. because i haven't seen you. >> i have a good reason.
>> i don't buy the excuses, but whatever. >> look at your hair. really? sweet? i got to take a picture of this crappy hair you got. amanda's going to crap herself. your hair is hideous. >> i've been having a bad day, mom. i've had a real bad day. >> do you have a fever? >> no. i lost a little bit of money. >> why? >> playing cards. >> well, don't play cards. >> i have to play cards to eat, because i don't got money. i have to win to eat and i lose and it frustrates me. i hurts me right here when i lose. >> really? >> yeah, it's like it builds up a lot of anger -- >> i think you're pointing too high. >> it makes me anxious. why didn't you put money in my account? >> because. i'm going to put $10 in your account today, which is going to suck $3 out. so you're going to -- do what you got to do on seven bucks. >> on how much? >> seven, because they take out three. >> seven dollars? >> you know what? wah. don't go to jail if you want more than seven bucks a week. >> i appreciate it all, mom. >> buy some crackers. >> i'm going to gamble it away.
>> really? >> i'm going to try to turn that 7 into 14. and 14 into 30. >> really? do you have shoes like those? >> because it was like -- yeah. i had to sell my crocs. >> what? >> i sold my crocs. >> why? >> because i needed to eat. >> are you kidding me? >> it's cool. um -- is there any way that you can ask grandma for three more dollars, so you can put 13 and get 10? >> no. grandma's at the flower -- >> $7? >> no. >> $7 is like -- >> you know what? you know what? do what you got to do. stretch it out. if you need to buy crackers, that's a lesson learned. >> i appreciate everything you give me. >> he is my son. he's my sweet boy. it's just, he ended up with the wrong people at the wrong time. so -- because he made foolish mistakes, he has to pay for
those. you don't shut off your kids because they make mistakes. >> i love you, mom. thank you for coming. >> i love you, too, sweet. >> sorry you didn't have more time to visit, but -- >> i know. >> thank you for the $7. >> i do what i can for you, sweet. can you please take a bath? >> no. i love you, mom. bye. >> i love you, too, sweet. bye, honey. >> he's just done some really foolish things. but i know that as he grows, when he gets married, when he has kids, his greatness is yet to come. i've always told him, he's destined for greatness, and he -- he is. he'll show everybody. he'll be fine. coming up -- >> that's my squatch footprint. see that piggy toe? >> scott dipiazza hears from the judge and a major development
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deputy justin flynn is back on the job at the kent county jail after a three-week trip to find sasquatch also known as bigfoot and with what he says is -- >> irrefutable proof. irrefutable. squatch's print. you like that? irrefutable, bro. irrefutable proof. that's my sasquatch print. see the piggy toe? >> i do. >> see the toes? squatch. irrefutable proof.
to me, it looks like there's a lot of -- justin in it. >> no. no, there's not. >> there's a lot of you in this. >> that's crazy. >> where's lucky joe? >> that's insanity. >> native american will tell you that this is what it is. >> come here, j.j. look at this. what do you think that is? >> looks like a crack pipe to me. >> no, it's a pencil. >> no, what's this? >> oh. i don't know, man. >> it's a squatch footprint. >> oh, sasquatch footprint. >> what do you think? >> perhaps. >> well, anyways -- >> depends how you're looking at it. >> this guy -- >> insanity. >> you're telling native americans they're wrong to believe in sasquatch? >> you can believe in whatever you want. >> i don't believe in sasquatch. >> all right, man. good job. >> i'm the only sasquatch on the west side. >> i'm a squatch believer. matter of fact, i get out here
april 14th. i'm heading out west and on my way i'm going to look for squatches. >> scott dipiazza knows his release date, because his case is now resolved. he pled guilty to breaking and entering and sentenced to one year in the kent county jail in addition to the time already served. >> i knew i was going to get about a year in county jail. but i thought that he was going to take into account my eight months. so i thought he was going to say, okay, you sat eight months, i'm going to sentence you to four more months in kent county jail. but it didn't happen that way. it's a long sentence. you know? >> sentencing is also finally in sight for four other inmates. nearly a year earlier, brandon townes, james hodges and dorian jones all pled guilty to charges related to a home invasion robbery in which a female college student was raped. they could not be sentenced
until the case of the fourth co-defendant was resolved. rederick melton proclaimed his innocence. he has voluntarily spent the past seven months in a sparse segregation cell preparing for trial. but now there has been a major development. and melton is headed back to general population. after nearly a year of proclaiming his innocence, melton has changed his plea. >> now that i've already pled guilty i'm going to go to prison. so i don't want to be over there until i ride it out. so i just came over here. >> what made you decide to plead guilty? >> more evidence was, at the last minute, was brought up against me. so -- i decided to swallow my pride on some of the charges i didn't do for sure and take the plea, you know. pled no contest. fight it on appeal. >> what did you plead to exactly? i pled guilty to all charges
except csc. i pled no contest to that, those three charges. >> are you saying that you were actually there that night? >> i'm saying, yes, i actually there. i'm just not accountable for everything that happened. >> the worst of the worst, i could get, like, 38 years. best case, 11 years. 11 years, that would be great. that would be great. you know? that's yes pled no contest. because that's not saying you're guilty, that's just saying, i'd rather not fight it. >> 12 days later the four men are on the eve of their sentencing. >> you nervous? why not? >> i mean, pretty much, know around what i'm going to get. >> what are you looking at? >> 14 to 23. >> how are you feeling? >> nervous. >> tell me what your guidelines are right now. >> from what i hear, they are 13 to 25 years. >> people think about the best
going into the courtroom, think, they may get the worst. know what i'm saying? you got to think about the worst. man, i've been thinking about the worst. i've been thinking about coming home, 40, 50. >> it's been, like, something you've been waiting for to happen, now it's finally here and it's like you got to -- a gut feeling. you're scared about it. you're nervous. like, first day going to school. something like that. you don't know what to expect. coming up -- >> any one of you could have intervened and stopped it short of a really horrific criminal sexual assault. >> four co-defendants learn their fate and hear from their victim. >> i've dreaded this whole process, dreaded it for the fact i have to look at these faces.
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>> joe, i got one for ya. open the door. go right over here. >> life's like a box of chocolate. you never know what you're going to get. >> ah! >> got a porn star moustache. >> this is like real -- >> ah! i know. >> you look like somebody out of "amistad." >> walk out this way. >> it's a lot of [ bleep ] getting sentenced today. >> don't know. better get it over with. >> it's been nearly a year since they have seen each other, and now it's time for the four men convicted of several heinous
crimes that shocked the city of grand rapids to receive their sentences. the charges are home invasion, armed robbery and criminal sexual conduct. the victim of the latter crime is a female college student. >> people versus rederick melton. people versus brandon townes. people versus james hodges jr. people versus dorian jones. >> for the record, we have all four defendants with their respective counsel. mr. becker. >> your honor, these kids are ready for sentencing at this point in time. i know we have a victim that wishes to speak and address the court all at once. >> i'll hear from the victim first, please. >> you do not need to state your name. go ahead, please. >> this whole crime has honestly been the worst struggle i've been through. i've dreaded this whole process, dreaded it for the fact i have to look in these faces.
i've lost countless hours of sleep trying to avoid the nightmares of that night replaying in my head over and over again. i dread it so much i thought i couldn't do any more, that i couldn't bear to get up out of bed in the morning. but i did, and i will keep doing it. i hope during your sentence you will reflect on your terrible decisions and actions of wrongdoing and in your punishment you can become a better person. >> thank you very much. >> one by one, they stand before the judge. >> i would just like to apologize to the victims for my involvement in this event. >> i just want to take responsibility for my actions. >> what happened to her was never supposed to happen. >> i would like to apologize to the victims and all their families and the community and the court system and my family as well. and i take full responsibility responsibility for what i did. >> i hope my sentence does make me a better person. pretty much all i have to say.
>> do you know this is a horrible series of crimes that occurred almost a year ago. 26-plus years on the bench, one of the worst cases that i've seen. each one of the four defendants here pled guilty to criminal sexual conduct first degree, and whether they participated directly or were aiders and abettors, there's no difference in the law. all four of these defendants were clearly involved. any one of you could have intervened and stopped it short of a really horrific criminal sexual assault. >> though each of the four men has agreed to a plea that allows for maximum sentences, they have banked on the judge being lenient. the first to be sentenced is rederick melton.
>> first of all, on armed robbery, the sentence of this court that you be committed to michigan department of corrections for a term not less than 18 or more than 40 years. and then consecutive to that, you are to serve on home invasion first degree, sentence of not less than seven, no more than 20 years. and then finally consecutive to home invasion first degree, criminal sexual conduct first degree, serve on the second home invasion not less than 18, no more than 40 years with the michigan department of corrections. >> the judge has sentenced melton to a total of 43 to 100 years in state prison. then it's on to the others. >> three counts of criminal sexual conduct first degree, a term of not less than 18, no more than 40 years.
a term of not less than 20, no more than 40 years. your guidelines are higher, mr. townes, based on your prior record which includes criminal sexual conduct offense, a sentence of not less than 25, no more than 40 years. then to be served consecutive to that, on home invasion first degree, fourth felony offender, a sentence of not less than 12 years, no more than 20 years, criminal sexual conduct, a sentence of not less than 25 or more than 40 years. you are entitled to file an application to appeal. >> thank you, your honor. >> thank you, your honor. >> got screwed. i'm going to die in prison, basically. >> 20 years, 25 years.
that's reasonable. you know, 50 is just -- make an example out of me or something. >> what did you expect? >> i didn't expect 43. >> what was the worst in your mind? >> worst was like 28. >> no matter what, 23 years? >> yeah. >> is that your only hope right now, appeal? >> breaking out. >> is that what you're thinking about right now? >> yeah. i could do it with you. grab you up. watch out.