Despite their pleas for mercy from the court, two local teenagers were sentenced Monday to three years in prison for their role in a July 12 burglary in the Lakemont subdivision in south Fayetteville.
Kemanu Asser Black, 18, of Ga. Highway 92 South, Fayetteville and Ryan G. Pfaffman, 18, of Glenwood Lane, Fayetteville waved goodbye to family and friends as they were led back to the holding cells inside the Fayette County Courthouse.
Black and Pfaffman were sentenced by Fayette County Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams under the first offender act. That means if both men can stay out of trouble with the legal system and complete their prison and probation sentences with no problems, the convictions will be expunged from their record.
Sams said he gave them that option based on their youth and the fact that both defendants were remorseful.
“It’s a chance for you to earn your redemption,” Sams said.
Both men will also serve a year of probation following the prison sentence and must pay a $500 fine.
The three-year prison term is the standard minimum sentence for a residential burglary on a first-time offense in the Griffin Judicial Circuit, which includes Fayette, Spalding, Pike and Upson counties.
Pfaffman testified during the sentencing hearing that he didn’t oppose serving the time, but he hoped for the sentence to be delayed so he could complete the program at the Paul Anderson Youth Home, a Christian residential home for troubled youth, where he enrolled in November.
Pfaffman admitted that he was drunk during the incident, and that he went back into the residence a second time “to get more stuff.” An Xbox video game system and a Nintendo DS video game system were among the items stolen.
Although Black did not testify, his attorney Harry Charles noted that at the time of the incident he was homeless, as his mother had kicked him out of the house. Now, he is living with his father in Texas, who testified that he was enrolled in high school and on track to attend college.
Several witnesses testified on Black’s behalf, including his grandfather whom he lived with for a time and also the father of one of his best friends, who also hosted Black at his home for a while at one point.
Black’s grandfather noted that the young man wouldn’t hesitate to help with physical labor to maintain his 9-acre estate.
“He’s a grandson that just can’t be replaced,” the grandfather said.