EVERETT — Investigators might never know why a south Seattle man without any criminal history and a good job took part in a terrifying home invasion robbery in the Silver Lake area.
Two intruders forced their way into a woman’s house March 29. They kicked in locked bedroom and bathroom doors to get to the woman who was hiding in the bathtub. One man grabbed the woman’s phone from her. He also ripped a necklace off the woman. Detectives don’t know why the men picked that house.
Calvin Bennett, 27, worked at turning himself into authorities. He started calling sheriff’s deputies the day after the robbery. He later took a bus up to Snohomish County, flagged down a sheriff’s captain and admitted he was involved.
The officer noted that Bennett had tears running down his cheeks as he sat on the curb, waiting for the captain to sort out which robbery Bennett was talking about.
“All he’s wanted to do is take responsibility and serve his punishment,” said Jon Scott, an attorney with the Snohomish County Public Defender Association.
Bennett was sentenced Thursday to 2½ years in prison. He pleaded guilty last month to second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and attempted third-degree assault on a corrections officer.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf said Bennett’s capture was unique and so was his refusal to name the second robber despite an offer that would have meant less time behind bars. The other man wore gloves and a mask. Bennett did nothing to conceal his identity.
The defendant offered no explanation Thursday. “I’m sorry for my actions. I ask for forgiveness,” Bennett said. “I’m ready to get this over with.”
He is focused on getting back to his young child, Bennett said. He told the judge he had been employed, working for the U.S. Postal Service in Tukwila. He seemed surprised when Alsdorf told the court the victim also was a postal worker.
“Oh gosh,” Bennett said.
Alsdorf pointed out that a video captured the suspects breaking into the bedroom. Bennett was seen carrying a pry bar. He yelled at the locked bathroom door, “Where’s it at?” The unknown suspect kicked open the bathroom door.
That man can be heard on the video, saying, “She’s in the shower.”
“Shortly after this comment the victim’s terrified screams can be heard on the video, as she pleaded with the burglars to leave her alone,” Alsdorf wrote in charging papers.
The unknown suspect ripped the phone from the woman’s hands and then grabbed the woman’s necklace. The men rummaged through her bedroom. Investigators believe they were looking for something specific. They left behind the victim’s wallet, iPad and surveillance camera.
They fled the house about three minutes after kicking in the front door.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair said she was puzzled why the men selected the victim’s house. Maybe it was the wrong house, she offered.
“What is clear is just how terrifying this must have been for the victim,” she said. “I certainly hope she is recovering from these events.”
Fair ordered Bennett never to have contact with the woman. She also agreed that Bennett deserved some leniency for pleading guilty quickly and for his lack of criminal history.
“Hopefully Mr. Bennett will be able to pick up the pieces of his life once he gets out of prison,” Fair said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.