A Gainesville man was sentenced Thursday morning by Hall County Judge Jason Deal to serve 12 years in prison for his role in the theft of a Jeep in November.
A Hall County jury on Tuesday found Richard Chambers, 40, guilty of theft by taking, robbery by force and battery.
Chambers was one of three co-defendants charged in a Nov. 10 carjacking that those accused said resulted from confusion arising from a relationship gone bad, and prosecutors said was theft.
Two co-defendants, Mitchell Adams and Stephanie Samples, already have pleaded guilty. Adams was sentenced to 20 years, with five to serve.
Chambers’ total sentence is 25 years, with 20 for robbery by force; 10 for theft by taking, to run concurrent with the first sentence; and five years probation for possession of a firearm. Other counts were merged with the first count. His total possible sentence was 66 years.
District Attorney Lee Darragh said he had “no particular comment” on the case.
Public defender David Hoffer did not return a call seeking comment.
The Hall County Sheriff’s Office had initially reported “police impersonators” with a blue light pursued the victim. A different sort of picture was painted by witnesses for the defense during the trial.
On a drive back to her apartment, Samples spotted the 1989 Jeep, and believing it belonged to her, flagged the car down, according to testimony.
Adams, Samples and Chambers all testified they never intended to rob an innocent victim of his Jeep.
Chambers testified he believed he was helping Samples recover her property and protecting her from a violent ex-boyfriend.
Assistant District Attorney Shiv Sachdeva argued there was intent to rob the victim and that the defendant lied about a number of details. He told the jury they could not “let someone just pull over someone, and assault them, and take their Jeep and walk out of this courtroom not guilty.”