UPDATED: Atl. woman sentenced to 35 years for 2010 home invasion


UPDATED for print Sept. 21,2011 — An Atlanta woman was convicted last week on 10 felony counts for participating in a violent home invasion in south Fayette County Dec. 3.

Michelle Perez of Chattahoochee Summit Road was sentenced to life in prison and must serve 35 years before serving the remainder of the sentence on probation. The sentence was issued by Fayette County Superior Court Judge Fletcher W. Sams.

The 12-member jury deliberated the case for several hours Sept. 14 before returning the guilty verdicts on three counts of kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime and one count of impersonating a public officer or employee.

The charges stemmed from the invasion of a home on Kimberly Court in rural south Fayette County Dec. 3.

A surveillance video from inside the house showed the victims being tortured, in one case as a hot iron was placed against a victim’s face and near his crotch in an attempt to get the victim to say where the money was inside the home. Police said the assailants got away with a Playstation 3 video game system, the digital video recorder from the surveillance system, a watch and several other items.

Perez was accused of masquerading as a law enforcement official to gain entry into the home with another suspect, and they were followed by two gunmen who overtook the scene, officials said.

Two codefendants also pled guilty last week to several charges stemming from the incident. Both Octavious Deshon Harmon and Darius Gray entered please to three counts of kidnapping and two counts of armed robbery.

Harmon was sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by eight years probation. Gray was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years probation.

The remaining five charges against both men were “dead docketed” based on their testifying truthfully at the future trial of a fourth codefendant, Mark Anthony Hill. Should Harmon or Gray not testify in Hill’s case, dead docketed charges can be resurrected.

Perez and another codefendant, Darius McKee Gray, were arrested a short time after the incident after sheriff’s Deputy Mike James spotted their white Chevy Impala on Ga. Highway 74 North in Peachtree City. The vehicle matched the description of one of the vehicles that left the scene of the home invasion, officials said.

Gray on Tuesday entered guilty pleas on five charges relating to the crime: the three kidnapping counts and two counts of armed robbery. Sentencing on his case was postponed until the conclusion of all cases related to the incident.

The case was investigated by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Fayette County Assistant District Attorney Warren Sellers, and Perez’s defense attorney was Benjamin A. Davis of Atlanta.