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Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.

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Man convicted in brutal, blinding attack

BY PORTSIA SMITH

A Louisa County man was found guilty by a jury today of three felony charges related to a May burglary in Louisa where an elderly woman was brutally attacked.

The jury recommended that Remone Jilantai Houchens, 20, serve 30 years in prison after convicted him of robbery, aggravated malicious wounding and burglary.

Deliberations started Thursday and lasted for more than five hours.

The victim, 87-year-old Lois Rosson, did not take the stand during the trial which began Wednesday.

But she reported to police that she woke up in the middle of the night on May 22 after hearing a loud noise.

She told police that a man she didn’t know attacked and threatened her before stealing a loaded handgun from the home.

She said the intruder left the home after she called out to her husband, who has been dead for several years. That’s when she called 911.

Rosson suffered several broken bones in her face and has lost vision in her left eye due to the attack.

Houchens admitted that he broke into the house by smashing through a locked glass door, but said he was not the one who attacked Rosson.

“I’m sorry that Damien did that to her,” he said on the stand.

The jury heard several recorded phone conversations between Houchens, friends and family members with different versions of what happened.

One conversation was recorded with a person suggesting that they get pen and paper to remember the story, and Houchens later testified that that was the person responsible for the attack.

In three of the recorded conversations, he said that he was alone during the break-in.

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Prosecutors presented DNA evidence with Houchens’ blood that was found on Rosson’s nightgown, the carpet, door and a stolen gun that belonged to Rosson.

Houchens will be formally sentenced on Feb. 14 in Louisa County Circuit Court.

“While justice was served, it is small consolation for the victim and her family who will carry these scars forever,” said Louisa Commonwealth Attorney Tom Garrett. “The message that the jury sent was loud and clear. You do not prey on the weakest of our community.”

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

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