The four Indianapolis men convicted of multiple felonies in a violent home invasion and sexual assault on the city's Far Northside will spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Adrian Anthony, 21; Demetre Brown, 22; AlexanderDupree, 24; and Michael Pugh, 23; were sentenced Friday, after a jury on March 10 found them guilty of a host of felony charges, including rape, criminal deviate conduct, carjacking, criminal confinement, aggravated battery and robbery.
Brown, Dupree and Pugh each were sentenced to serve 248 years. Anthony was sentenced to serve 318 years. All four men told the judge they planned to appeal their convictions.
Brown's attorney, John Tompkins, said he could not recall any other non-murder cases that resulted in such long sentences.
The total sentences Marion Superior Court Judge Lisa Borges handed down to each of the four men were even longer than the final terms they were ordered to serve, because she allowed sentences on some of the convictions to be served concurrently.
Even with credit for good behavior — unless their convictions or sentences are overturned on appeal — Brown, Dupree and Pugh would have to serve a minimum of 128 years and Anthony 159 years.
The convictions were handed down about 18 months after the men broke into a house on East 79th Street, ransacked the home, sexually assaulted resident Eileen Potenzaand her adult daughter and left with many of their belongings. The Indianapolis Star typically does not name people who are or may have been victims of sexual assault, but Potenza spoke publicly about the ordeal after the verdicts were handed down.
Eileen Potenza said after the sentencing Friday that she hoped the punishment would help address violence in Indianapolis.
"This is a sad day," she said. "But we're OK, and we're moving on."
Eileen Potenza and her husband, Carl, both read emotional statements in court before Borges handed down the sentences. Carl Potenza, who has a physical problem that requires him to wear leg braces, was beaten up and held captive in a bedroom during the burglary.
Carl Potenza said the brutal violation of his wife and daughter continue to haunt him. Another daughter, who was not home at the time, also was traumatized and is in counseling, he said.
"Why was this necessary?" he asked the men. "What did we do to you."
Still, Carl Potenza said, the "two hours of hell" was followed by an amazing outpouring of help and support from friends and strangers touched by their horrific experience.
He concluded his statement by saying "we don't want these guys to ever have a chance to do something like this again."
In her statement, Eileen Potenza said the incidents of "October 29, 2013, changed the lives of everyone in my family" and she still couldn't understand "how anyone could be so evil."
Turning to the four defendants — who sat handcuffed, shackled and connected at the waist by heavy chains — the preschool teacher asked: "When and why did your lives go so terribly wrong that you thought that this behavior was OK?"
Answers to some of her questions were revealed in court Friday. Prosecutors noted all four young men had criminal records, both as juveniles and adults, before the home 2013 invasion. All had extensive histories of drug and alcohol abuse. And all had histories of violating court orders and prison rules, as well as failed attempts at rehabilitation.
The four men initially faced 35 charges, seven of which were dismissed before the jury deliberated. The state asked jurors to convict each defendant of all of the 28 remaining counts.
Only Anthony was found guilty of all the charges. The jury acquitted the three others of some of the counts but found them guilty of most of the major charges, including rape, criminal deviate conduct, carjacking, criminal confinement, aggravated battery and robbery.
Borges threw out some more of the men's convictions Friday, noting they were tied to the same acts as other convictions that carried stiffer penalties. Pugh's sentence was ultimately based on 10 felony convictions; Anthony's on 13; Brown's on 10; andDupree's on 11.
Defense attorneys asked the judge to sentence the men to 40 to 50 years, which would allow them to pay for their crimes while still having a chance to return to society and be productive citizens. And all four, they noted, have young children.
But the horrific "nature of the crimes," Borges said, clearly outweighed any mitigating circumstances that would have justified reducing the sentences. She noted the men did not just attack and rob the family, they humiliated the victims over the course of hours.
"I do think this will have a lasting impact on the victims and the family members of the defendants," Borges said. "It also is clear that this has had a serious impact on the community."
According to graphic details of the crimes revealed during the trial in March, the four men and two friends drove to the Potenza home early on Oct. 29, 2013. Eileen and her daughter said in court that they each were forced to drive to an ATM to get money. Eileen Potenza was shot twice — in the leg and in the ankle — for trying to escape.
Carl Potenza was restrained in the bedroom with a blanket over him throughout the home invasion.
Anthony admitted that he shot Eileen Potenza and sexually assaulted her in a car, after they had left the home to go to the ATM. At least four of the men sexually assaulted the couple's daughter.
Fingerprint and DNA evidence showed that Dupree and two other defendants, TraeSpells and Isaiah Hill, also were in the family's home that day. Brown's fingerprints also were found on a laptop in the home. Moreover, surveillance video taken at an apartment building at 34th and Meridian streets on the Near Northside shows the six suspects getting out of a car together, prosecutors say. The video was taken just before 11 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2013.
Spells, the state's key witness against his co-conspirators, pleaded guilty in February to rape, criminal deviate conduct and robbery in the home invasion.
Hill, the sixth defendant, is being held in Texas on unrelated charges.
Some of the same men also are charged in another brutal home invasion that happened five days earlier in a young couple's home on North Spring Mill Road, less than three miles away. The two vicious attacks left residents across the city on edge.
Anthony, Pugh and another suspect, Taiwan Lundy, are facing 40 felony charges, including forgery, criminal confinement, sexual battery, robbery, carjacking and intimidation in the Spring Mill Road case.
Anthony also was convicted in April in the murder of construction worker Robbie Gibson, during a Nov. 27, 2013, armed robbery on North Gray Street — about a month after he and the other men burglarized and robbed two Far-Northside homes. He is awaiting sentencing in that case, which will add even more time in prison.
Spells also pleaded guilty to burglary in the Spring Mill Road home invasion. He faces a sentence of 50 to 80 years in prison on all charges in the two cases and is scheduled to be sentenced July 29.
A pretrial conference in the Spring Mill Road case is set for Thursday. No trial date has been set, according to online court records.
Star reporters Madeline Buckley and Kristine Guerra contributed to this article.