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Three sentenced in home invasion

Three robbers will serve combined sentences of nearly 31 years in prison for their roles in violently assaulting and robbing a Talent resident in his rural home in an attempt to steal cash and marijuana.

Al Lamont Daniels, 26, Mario Roshun Vital, 24, and Brian Keith Yancy, 27, all pleaded guilty Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court to a charge of first-degree robbery. The three negotiated a plea bargain Tuesday morning rather than face a jury trial in the case.

The three men planned to steal drugs the evening of June 22 from Kale Cavender, who lives on Wagner Creek Road, said Tim Barnack, deputy district attorney for Jackson County. A former Southern Oregon University student from Oakland, Calif., Vital knew Cavender, Barnack said. Daniels and Yancy live in Ashland.

The trio hid in an orchard near the house, waiting for Cavender's parents to leave the yard and go inside, Barnack said. After about 40 minutes, Daniels approached the couple and said his car was out of gas, distracting the couple and allowing Vital and Yancy to enter Cavender's guest house behind the main residence.

Armed with a stout, club-like stick he found in the orchard, Yancy beat Cavender several times in the head, Barnack said. The gunman, Vital, fired a shot from a silver handgun into the wall and also held Cavender's girlfriend at gunpoint, Barnack said. Yancy also loosely tied up both victims with electrical wire.

— Yancy dragged Cavender to the bathroom, where one of the two men fired another shot that grazed Cavender's head, Barnack said. When the victim passed out, the two masked men fled with a safe.

They have first-hand knowledge of what terror is, Barnack said of the victims.

The three headed south on Wagner Creek Road in Daniels' gold Mercury Sable, but hit a dead-end at the driveway of another rural resident. Again asking for gas, Daniels aroused suspicion, Barnack said. The residents called police and kept Daniels there until officers arrived, Barnack added.

Vital was found hiding in nearby bushes, and Yancy was arrested when police saw him walking down the road toward town. Officers recovered the safe, which contained no money when it was stolen.

Cavender and his family attended Tuesday's hearing but did not address the court. Barnack would not discuss whether the robbers found drugs in the Talent home. However, Cavender was charged in November with felony possession of marijuana on the date of the robbery. Cavender has pleaded not guilty.

While all three pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery. attacking Cavender garnered Yancy an additional conviction for first-degree assault. Vital also pleaded guilty Tuesday to holding up a Dutch Bros. coffee stand in west Medford about a week before invading Cavender's home.

Vital received the most lengthy sentence, 13 years and four months, for both robberies. Circuit Court Judge Ray White ordered Yancy to spend 10 years in prison. Daniels, of Ashland, will serve the mandatory prison sentence of seven and a half years for acting as a lookout.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail