A state appeals court has ruled that two men convicted of multiple felonies after a 2010 crackdown on Tacomas Hilltop Crips street gang deserve new trials on their most serious convictions.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin erred when she did not allow a jury to consider a lesser charge when it deliberated first-degree robbery counts against Deandre Beck and Darryl Henderson, the Division II panel ruled last week.
Jurors should have been able to consider convicting Beck and Henderson of fourth-degree assault instead of robbery, the three-judge panel decided.
The appeals court set aside the mens first-degree robbery convictions and sent the cases back to Pierce County for new trials.
The panel upheld the rest of Hendersons convictions for conspiracy to commit car theft, car theft and conspiracy to commit robbery.
It also upheld Becks convictions for car theft and conspiracy to commit robbery but dismissed his conspiracy to commit car theft conviction, saying there was not enough evidence to justify that conviction.
Beck, 30, and Henderson, 35, were among nearly three dozen Hilltop Crips swept up during a 2010 dragnet by Tacoma police and the FBI.
The two men were charged for their parts in a robbery in July 2009 outside a Tacoma lounge. Prosecutors said Beck and Henderson and several other Crips attacked a man and stole his car and wallet that night.
Beck originally was sentenced to seven years, three months in prison and Henderson to 13 years on their robbery convictions. They will remain in custody serving out the concurrent sentences on their other crimes while they are retried on the robbery counts.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644