Beaufort man receives 20-year sentence in home invasion

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comMay 21, 2012 

A 20-year-old Beaufort man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for his role in a violent home invasion in Port Royal last summer.

The trial of Zack Findlay was scheduled to begin Tuesday in the Beaufort County Courthouse, but Findlay chose to plead guilty to first-degree burglary, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Findlay and four others were arrested in August for kicking in the door of a home on 16th Street, badly beating the 21-year-old resident, who was Findlay's former roommate, and stealing two televisions, guitars and other electronics, authorities said.

The men wore bandanas over their faces, and one was armed with a revolver, according to police.

The suspects were arrested hours later when they were spotted driving down Jericho Road and pulled over by a Beaufort County sheriff's deputy. Several of the suspects had blood on their clothes, the Solicitor's Office said.

Findlay had been jailed at the county Detention Center since his arrest, according to the jail log.

Solicitor Duffie Stone, who prosecuted the case, called the sentence Monday by Judge Carmen Mullen a just one.

"Zack Findlay is a sociopath with a total lack of empathy or remorse," Stone said in a statement. "He deserves every day of his 20-year prison sentence."

Stone added that state law will require Findlay to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

Charges are still pending against the four other suspects: Daniel Smithpeters, 23; Robert Curnell, 19; John Decarolo, 18; and a juvenile male. Smithpeters, Curnell and Decarolo are in the county jail awaiting trial.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

Related content: Four arrested in Port Royal home invasion, beating, Aug. 18, 2011

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