VIOLENT HOME INVASION ENDS WITH 25 TO 33 YEARS IN PRISON

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BAYBORO – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, just prior to the selection of a jury in the cases today, KAREEN RAMEL ELLIOTT, 39, of Havelock, pled guilty to the charges against him arising out of an armed home invasion, and was sentenced to a prison term of 25 ½ years to 33 years in prison. The cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Karen Hobbs, and Resident Superior Court Judge John Nobles presided over this term of court.

On October 10, 2015, three masked men broke into a residence in Merritt, all three armed with handguns. Inside the home were three adult residents, and two children
– ages 4 years and 1 year old. The intruders pointed their guns at the adults and demanded money, forcing the male adult into a bedroom. The mother of the infant grabbed her child and hid in a closet, but one of the gunman found her and ordered her to crawl into the bedroom, begging not to hurt the child. The other female resident, the grandmother of the 4-year-old, was held at gunpoint and ordered into a bathroom. The intruders ransacked the house and eventually took cash and cell phones from the victims, and illicit drugs from the male victim.


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Meanwhile, when the gunman who forced the male adult into his bedroom turned to shut the door, the male victim grabbed his handgun and fired at the intruder, killing him. That deceased gunman was later identified as Moses Tolvert. The other gunmen then fled, chased by the male victim, who picked up his shotgun on the way out, firing at one of the intruders and striking him in the leg.

The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation, and the girlfriend of Moses Tolvert provided information which led them to defendant Elliott as being involved. Once Elliott was identified, investigators obtained a search warrant for his cell phone, which showed a clear line of travel from Havelock through New Bern, Grantsboro, Vandemere, and onto the Oriental tower. Following the home invasion, the phone traveled back along the same
path. Another witness described an interaction he had with Elliott prior to the robbery and burglary, in which Elliott was asking about any resident in Pamlico County who might have cash in their house.

Investigators searched for Elliott for five days before locating him in Chocowinity in Beaufort County, where they found him hiding in a house, under a mattress. Elliott was found to have shotgun pellet wounds to his leg, and x-rays showed clearly that pellets were still in his leg.

The jury pool was excused from the courtroom on Tuesday morning while Elliott spoke with his attorney about a guilty plea. While the jury was out, Elliott pled guilty to the following: four (4) counts of armed robbery (Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon); five (5) counts of Second Degree Kidnaping; one count of First Degree Burglary; and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and Burglary.

Judge Nobles sentenced Elliott to consecutive sentences which totaled 306 to 404 months in prison (approximately 25 ½ to 33 years). A co-defendant previously pled guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.

District Attorney Scott Thomas said, “The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office and SBI did a great job investigating these crimes of violence, and in apprehending the suspects. Assistant District Attorney Karen Hobbs worked closely with the victims, witnesses, and law enforcement to prepare a solid case for trial. Due to these efforts, the defendant pled guilty just before jury selection and received a lengthy prison sentence.”

NOTE: Under North Carolina Structured Sentencing law, a convicted criminal defendant must serve all of the minimum active sentence and may be required to serve up to the maximum sentence. Upon release at the conclusion of the prison sentence, a nine to twelve month period of post-release supervision by a probation officer is required.


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