23-year-old man gets two life sentences for robbing elderly women

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to two life terms in prison for robbing two elderly women in their homes last year and to two 20-year terms for two house burglaries last year.

During his sentencing hearing Friday, Erik White admitted to state District Judge Mollee Westfall that he had committed many other burglaries and shoplifted daily. White testified that he often targeted elderly people, especially ones with nice cars with handicap placards, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office said in a news release.

White’s first life sentence was in the case of a 94-year-old Benbrook woman who was beaten during the robbery of her house.

He and co-defendants Dvonte Dmarr Chadwick, 18, and James Edward Burns, 20, admitted attacking the woman about 9 a.m. June 11, 2013, as she took garbage to the curb in the 4000 block of Winding Way. They said they targeted her after spotting a walker in her garage, the news release said.

Wearing masks and gloves, they dragged her back into her house, hit her when she resisted, bound her with duct tape and left her on the floor as they ransacked the house for about a half-hour.

A neighbor who spotted a suspicious car in the woman’s driveway called police. The first officer on the scene reported that a man jumped out of the car and ran, according to a previous news report. The officer chased him.

“When the other officers got there, they checked the residence and found [the woman] bound,” a Benbrook police spokeswoman said. The woman told officers that at least two robbers had entered her house.

White was caught after a foot chase near the 7500 block of Benbrook Parkway. Burns and Chadwick were arrested later in the day.

In June, Burns pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in exchange for a 25-year sentence, the news release said.

White and Chadwick elected to let Westfall sentence them, which she did Friday after receiving the required presentencing report, including their criminal histories, and hearing details of the Benbrook robbery. Also, Westfall heard testimony from a 72-year-old woman who said that two days before the Benbrook robbery, White held her at gunpoint while he stole items from her home.

For that robbery, White received a second life sentence. His four sentences will run concurrently.

Westfall sentenced Chadwick to 30 years in prison. He had no prior adult criminal record, but he was disciplined 13 times during the 14 months he was in jail awaiting adjudication.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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