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By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WORCESTER- A Worcester man was sentenced yesterday to 20 to 22 years in state prison after being convicted of charges arising from a home invasion and robbery last year on Pleasant Street.

A Worcester Superior Court jury found William Serrano Jr. guilty of home invasion, armed robbery, armed assault in a dwelling, breaking and entering in the daytime and putting a person in fear and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Judge Daniel A. Ford sentenced the 35-year-old Mr. Serrano to 20 to 22 years in state prison on the home invasion charge and to lesser, concurrent prison sentences on the remaining charges.

On the afternoon of Aug. 13, 2007, police officers responded to 167 Pleasant St. for a report of an injured person. The victim, 54-year-old Russell Harms, told investigators he answered his door after someone knocked and identified himself as a police officer.

Mr. Harms said he was confronted by a man with a shirt wrapped around his head and face who rushed inside and attacked him with a two by four. During the struggle that ensued, Mr. Harms suffered injuries to his head, eye and legs and the assailant forcibly removed $300 from his person before fleeing, according to prosecutors.

After the officers arrived, Mr. Harms found a paper sleeve containing Mr. Serrano's social security card, state identification card and insurance card and identified Mr. Serrano as his attacker, according to a statement of the case filed in court by Assistant District Attorney Cheryl R. O'Connell Riddle.

Mr. Serrano, who was represented by lawyer Sean M. McGinty, maintained he acted in self-defense after being assaulted by Mr. Harms, according to court records. Mr. Serrano's last known address was listed as 14 Main St.

The prison sentence imposed by Judge Ford was to take effect immediately and wiped out a jail sentence Mr. Serrano received in April after pleading guilty to charges of assaulting a pregnant woman and destroying her telephone.

On April 2, Mr. Serrano was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in the House of Correction with 18 months to be served after pleading guilty in Worcester Superior Court to aggravated assault and battery and malicious destruction of property, crimes that occurred on May 12, 2007, in Worcester.

Judge Kathe M. Tuttman suspended the balance of the sentence for 3 years with probation. As conditions of probation, Mr. Serrano was to complete a batterers' program and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation, according to court records.

Judge Ford gave Mr. Serrano credit for 381 days he spent in custody awaiting trial.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20080909/FRONTPAGENEWS/809090295
 
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