Crime

Five plead not guilty to Pierce County home invasion

They said they went to defend a teenager’s honor but it ended up as a home invasion robbery.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged Scott Bennett, 39, Joshua McCollaum, 27, Jennifer Sacha, 36, and Kelly Hanson, 59, with several counts of robbery and burglary for the Nov. 22 incident.

Nicole Pierce, 23, faces the same counts, and a charge of rendering criminal assistance.

All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Charging papers gave this account:

The group went to the victims’ Piece County home Nov. 22 because Bennett was upset that a man who lived there with two others had allowed Bennett’s 17-year-old niece to stay there and allegedly give her heroin.

They forced their way into the home and Bennett assaulted the man he believed was giving his niece drugs. He also took the man’s wallet before repeatedly punching him.

Although no gun was seen, Bennett allegedly threatened to shoot the victims if they called police.

“Apparently Bennett had come to confront (one of the victims) but then also decided to steal property while he was in the home,” court records say.

While Bennett yelled about his niece and assaulted one of the victims, McCollaum poked around the house for items to steal. Prosecutors allege Bennett and McCollaum took a wallet, a tablet and a purse containing credit cards.

The victims called police after the group left.

Sheriff’s deputies went to a home Bennett and McCollaum were known to frequent.

While a deputy was getting permission from the homeowner to search the home, a pit bull charged and bit his hand. The deputy shot the pit bull.

Hanson was taken into custody after climbing a fence and nearly falling into a pool. Deputies found Pierce hiding in an attic. She said she was alone but Bennett, McCollaum and Sacha were found hiding there as well. All were arrested.

The victims’ credit cards were found in the attic, along with a substance deputies suspected was heroin.

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