The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Teens convicted again in home-invasion robbery
BY KEITH EPPS
For the second time in a week, two Stafford 17-year-olds have been convicted in connection with a frightening home-invasion robbery.
The latest conviction stems from a May 21 incident in Spotsylvania County that started when two masked males rushed into a woman’s Oak Grove Terrace home.
They tied her up and repeatedly threatened to kill her as they ransacked her home and stole multiple items.
Robert Daquan Cox III and Michael Charles North pleaded guilty to six charges Wednesday in Spotsylvania Circuit Court, including two that carry potential life sentences.
The teens will be sentenced in Spotsylvania on March 6. They have similar convictions in Stafford and will be sentenced there on Feb. 28.
According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Martha Norton, Jacqueline Rancourt had just returned home from walking her two dogs when she sat down at her kitchen table about 10:50 p.m. to work on her computer.
It was a nice evening, so she had left her front storm door open with the screen door closed, court records state.
Suddenly Cox and North rushed into the home near Loriella Park wearing masks and hoodies. Cox had a black night stick in his hand and began yelling at Rancourt.
“[Expletive], where’s your purse? Where’s your money? [Expletive], you’d better be finding me some money quick,” Cox is quoted as saying in court records.
Meanwhile, North grabbed a knife from the kitchen and threatened the victim with it. He also smashed the home phone in her living room.
After going through her purse, the robbers forced Rancourt into a back bedroom, court records state, where Cox ransacked the room and North kept her at knife point.
They took an Amazon Kindle, a digital camera and all of Rancourt’s jewelry, including a diamond tennis bracelet and a 14-karat gold ring.
Cox and North then took the woman back to the front of the house and forced her to lie face down on the floor.
Cox is quoted as saying, “I don’t know if I want to kill this [expletive] or not” and North replied, “No, let’s just tie her up and get out of here.”
Rancourt was tied up with bungee cords and an electrical cord and was warned that they would come back and kill her if she screamed.
Cox rummaged through the kitchen before leaving and complained that the woman didn’t have anything for him to eat, court records state.
North’s parting comment was “You’ve just been robbed [expletive]. Have a nice night.”
After a short time, Rancourt freed herself and ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
The two teens were arrested about a month later following a home-invasion robbery in North Stafford during which one of the victims seriously injured Cox with a knife and cut North, as well.
Both teens later admitted their involvement in three home-invasion robberies, including the one involving Rancourt.
Cox told police that they had gone to Spotsylvania that night with a man named “Blue” to rob some drug dealers.
They drove past a drug dealer’s home, according to Cox’s story, but decided against the robbery because too many people were there.
They were leaving the area when they saw Rancourt’s open door. Cox said that “Blue,” a member of the street gang “Crips,” told them to go rob the house.
Norton said police never found any evidence that “Blue” exists.
North told police that he and Cox were “bored” and decided to rob someone after getting “pumped up” while listening to music.
Asked why he committed the crimes, North stated the he didn’t know how to say “no” and “I thought [Cox] would tell other people I’m not cool and no one would want to hang out with me.”
The crimes Cox and North were convicted of Wednesday included robbery, abduction for pecuniary benefit and armed burglary.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404