Sirens & Gavels

'Nicer' home invasion robber gets 5+ years

A teenager will spend about five years in prison for a violent home invasion robbery last fall that targeted the mother of his alleged accomplice’s child.

Cocaine addiction drove Darius D. Toussiant, 18, to join a group of friends in a Nov. 16 attack that led to a SWAT team standoff at an apartment the next day, said his public defender, Kari Reardon.

Toussiant apologized for what he called “stupid mistakes” before being sentenced Tuesday to 66 months in prison.

“It’s painful to sentence someone your age to prison, but what you did was pretty bad, pretty horrifying,” said Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno. Moreno approved a plea deal hatched by Reardon and Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla that convicted Toussiant of first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and dismissed one count of first-degree robbery.

The sentence carries a three-year enhancement because a firearm was used. Moreno ordered Toussiant, a high school dropout, to earn his GED in prison and attend drug addiction counseling if available.

His father, Kent Toussiant, told Moreno he’ll be there to support the teen.

“I feel he is ready to rehabilitate and take a stronger path. It’s going to be up to him,” he said.

Toussiant and his accomplices burst into the East Mansfield Avenue apartment of Sara Mattingly in November looking for drugs that weren’t there, prosecutors said Tuesday.

They left with electronics after forcing Mattingly into a laundry closet at gunpoint as her young child slept, according to court documents. Detectives said Toussiant was “nicer” than his accomplices during the home invasion and urged them not to go into the child’s room, Reardon said.

Along with robbery and burglary charges, Jeremiah A. Smith, also known as Glen A. Akers, 20, also is accused of hitting Mattingly in the head with a handgun. He’s in jail awaiting trial.

Mattingly’s ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Artez L. Woodard, whom she’d taken out a restraining order against a week earlier, also is in jail. A fourth suspect, 22-year-old Vatsana Moungkhoth, was sentenced to 22 months in prison Monday for conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. Police say she drove Toussiant and Akers to Mattingly’s apartment.

Past coverage:

Suspect had history with assault victim

Police searching South Hill for robbery suspects




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