Man gets 11 years in prison for Atwater home invasion

MERCED, Calif.

/*Julieann Brantly*/ began living a nightmare on April 27th of last year. That's the day /*Joey Cardoza*/ and /*Kimberly Grace*/ badly beat Brantly before stealing several items from her Atwater home. "I will never forget not being able to breathe, begging my captor for air, my heart beating so hard I thought it was going to explode."

The 57-year-old looked at Cardoza as she spoke about the pain she still feels in her neck and back and the fear that fills her daily life. "Every sound, everything I see makes me anxious."

Brantly's emotional statement came after an apology from her attacker.

Joey Cardoza said, "I just want to apologize for what happened to you, okay? I want you to know I never had any hatred toward you or never do to this point."

Investigators say Cardoza targeted Brantly because he spent three years in prison for burglarizing her house in the past and wanted revenge.

Officers arrested him and Grace after surveillance video caught her using Brantly's stolen debit card. Grace testified against Cardoza in his trial last year, which ended in a hung jury. But he pleaded guilty to first degree robbery after new DNA evidence surfaced in the case.

Defense attorney, Jeffrey Tenenbaum said, "With the offer of 11 years, he decided to not take that risk because a 30 year sentence would have been the rest of his life, essentially."

Brantly says she worried Cardoza may come after her again once he's released, but for now she's thankful he's heading to prison. "There was a sense of also, I got to look at him and go yes, you know you did this."

Cardoza could be eligible for parole after about eight years in prison. Brantly says she plans to move before he's released.

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