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Gunman in home invasion to serve 54 months

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published December 04. 2013 7:00PM   Updated December 04. 2013 11:40PM

A 25-year-old man who wielded a gun during a home invasion robbery on Franklin Street in Norwich last year was sentenced Wednesday in New London Superior Court to 54 months in prison.

John Factura of Norwich had pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery.

According to prosecutor David J. Smith and Norwich police, Factura and James Alston broke into 204 Franklin St., Apt. 3, a multi-family residence above the Brazil Mart, around midnight on Aug. 16, 2012, through a back door.

“This defendant (Factura) entered with a weapon and used it, at one point, in a threatening manner in the home,” said Smith.

Factura’s co-defendant, Alston, was sentenced in August to four years in prison. Luz Martinez, the alleged getaway driver, is free on bond while her case is pending. Her next court date is Dec. 20.

Police said Factura and Alston then entered the bedroom of the business owner and his wife, ordering everyone down on the floor and stealing $9,470 in cash, jewelry and an iPhone.

The female victim, who was pregnant, continues to be “extremely fearful” following the incident, said Smith, who recommended a six-year prison sentence after taking the aggravated nature of the crime and Factura’s lack of a criminal history into consideration.

Defense attorney Michael E. Jewell said Factura, who had emigrated from the Philippines with his family as a boy, started getting into trouble as a teen and was kicked out of the family home.

“He seems to have a chip on his shoulder,” Jewell said. “He’s addressing these issues.”

Factura apologized to the victims, who were not present, and said he understands that he has to “do some time” for the crime.

“I’m asking for some leniency,” he said. “I’m not a menace to society or a bad man.”

Noting Factura had been convicted of crimes as a juvenile, judge Susan B. Handy said Factura appeared not to have learned from his mistakes.

“You’re running around with a gun,” Handy said. “Thank God no one was seriously injured. I’m sure that when your parents brought you here from the Philippines, they brought you here for a better life, not this.”

Factura will be on probation for three years following his release and is required, along with his co-defendants, to repay the victims.

— Karen Florin

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