A suspect in a Gainesville home invasion was convicted Wednesday of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and other felonies.
Justin Ogletree, 27, was sentenced by Hall County Superior Court Judge Jason Deal to 17 years in prison, minus time served since July, and an additional 13 years of probation.
According to prosecutors, Ogletree forced his way into the home of Matthew Tehonica at the Oconee Springs apartment complex in Gainesville on the night of Oct. 14, 2012. Ogletree reportedly fired a shot at Tehonica during an altercation before fleeing the scene with his accomplice, Dymond Butler.
Several weeks later, Ogletree was found in the DeKalb County Jail on unrelated charges. Tehonica then picked him out of a photo lineup.
Ogletree has maintained his innocence, pointing the finger at Butler. The two have three children together.
“His defense was he was in DeKalb County taking care of the children that night while she was off doing whatever it was she was doing,” said Gainesville defense attorney Lee Parks, who represented Ogletree.
According to Parks, Butler knew Tehonica’s roommate. On the night in question, he said, Butler came knocking, but Tehonica turned her away, saying his roommate wasn’t home. She then returned a short time later, and when Tehonica opened the door again, he was staring at a gun.
Parks said a shot was fired from an unknown assailant accompanying Butler, but not in the direction of Tehonica. Butler, meanwhile, was reportedly shot herself.
After Ogletree was arrested and charged with the crime, Butler reportedly fled and could not be tracked down by law enforcement before trial.
“She’s still on the run,” Parks said.
Ogletree took the stand in his own defense, but his alibi was undercut by the fact that he had no one to testify on his behalf.
“According to his testimony, there were no other adults that were around” that could verify his whereabouts on the night of the incident, Parks said, only the small children Ogletree says he was caring for.
Ogletree was also convicted of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Deal dismissed a second count of aggravated assault, according to Parks.
Ogletree had a prior record of burglary in DeKalb County in 2005, and felony family violence battery in 2007.
“The court’s sentence reflected well the seriousness of the attack on a person and family he had never before met.,” Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh said in a press release.
Parks said he filed a motion for a new trial on Thursday.