Frightening Home Invasion Revisited In Court

February 3, 2009 6:54:50 PM PST
Frightening details were recalled Tuesday morning during a home invasion trial involving a retired Fresno Judge. Phillip Landry is accused of breaking into the judge's home, and beating up Retired Judge Robert Martin and his wife. Investigators blame Landry for barging into a home and brutally beating the retired judge and his wife. Landry faces charges ranging from robbery to elder abuse. But the defense attorney blamed the crime on a man Landry once called a friend.

Prosecutor Tim Donovan said, "I am going to tell you, this is a case of a crook who is willing to fabricate a story to cover up a crime."

Prosecutor Tim Donovan aimed his sharp words at 27-year-old Phillip Landry. Landry and James Cox are accused or barging into this North Fresno home in March and assaulting 75-year-old Carol Martin and her 79-year-old husband Robert a retired judge. During closing arguments, the prosecutor showed jurors pictures of the bruising, cuts and abuse suffered by the elderly victims. Cox admitted to the crime and accepted a plea deal. In return, Cox testified against Landry saying Landry planned the home invasion. Donovan said, "When you are both in that home together committing those crimes, you are equally guilty under the law."

Investigators found Landry with a gun belonging to Judge Martin. Attorney Ralph Torres defended Landry. Torres said, "He doesn't admit because he wasn't there. He doesn't admit the crime." Torres called Cox a liar with a motive to frame Landry who is a former member of the navy. A point ... Torres made clear to jurors. Torres said, "Two tours of duty for what we are doing right here. He was willing to die for us, Cox is willing to lie for himself."

If convicted, Landry faces life in prison. Cox is expected to be sentenced later this year.

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