Teen punished for violent home invasion on WWII veteran

EMBED </>More Videos

Prison is the next stop for a Fresno teen who pistol-whipped a World War II vet during a home-invasion robbery. (KFSN)

Prison is the next stop for a Fresno teen who pistol-whipped a World War II veteran during a home-invasion robbery.

Josef Martin survived the attack in October 2013, but his life hasn't been the same since. Dezman Kenner was 16 when he and two other boys broke into Martin's home. Kenner will live in prison into his 30s now, but he also lives in Martin's nightmares.

It's been 15 months since Kenner turned a 92-year-old man's life upside-down. He still hasn't apologized.

"It is inconceivable to me how you could inflict this kind of senseless violence on a [92-year-old man]," said Judge Kimberly Gaab. "Mr. Kenner, do you have anything you want to say?"

"No," Kenner said.

"Nothing," the judge replied.

Kenner and two other boys broke into Josef Martin's home in the middle of the night and stole about $200 cash and some jewelry with more sentimental than cash value. They also stole the veteran's dignity.

A survivor of the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, Martin moved on after the war. His family worries he'll never move on from this attack. But a judge sending Kenner to prison for 17 years may help.

"I'm happy for Mr. Martin," said prosecutor Tim Donovan. "I'm happy that we brought justice to him. I'm happy that hopefully he can have some solace and some closure. He still suffers from nightmares and so my hope is maybe this will give him some peace of mind."

Martin identified Kenner as the guy with the gun -- the boy who pistol-whipped him, stuck the gun in his mouth and even pulled the trigger. But even after Kenner agreed to a plea deal in the case, his mother still insists he's innocent.

"Actually, my son was at home with me at the time," said Shamae Judge.

Several witnesses contradict that claim, though, including one of the accomplices.

Martin chose not to be there to see a judge sentence Kenner. He told prosecutors he never wants to see the kid again. But in his sleep, his daughter tells Action News, he can't keep Kenner away.

"My father will have the constant fear," said JoAnn Hamman. "He'll have the nightmares. He'll still be able to hear the person's voice and the click of the gun."

Related Topics:
crimetrackerassaultattackveteranhome invasionrobberycourtcourt casetrialfresno countyFresno
(Copyright ©2018 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)