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Michigan man serving 20 years in prison for robbing elderly Aragona woman, driving her stolen car wi

Earl Lavern Sparks, 35, formerly of Flint, Michigan, was sentenced today to 40 years in prison for carjacking, robbery, burglary and abduction, with 20 years suspended, leaving 20 years to serve.

Sparks pled guilty to her offenses on October 16, 2017.

If the case had gone to trial, evidence would have proven that on the afternoon of May 10, 2017, the victim, a 75-year-old widow, was alone at her home in Virginia Beach's Aragona neighborhood.

Her front door was open and her screen door was unlocked when she heard a knock at the door. Not seeing anyone there, she locked it.

Unbeknownst to the victim, Sparks had already sneaked into the home and was hiding inside. He found a white cord and a steak knife, went upstairs to the victim's room, threw her to the ground, broke her shoulder in the process, tied her to her bed and unplugged her phone from the wall.

Sparks dumped out the victim's purse, located a debit card and demanded the PIN number. He called the bank in an attempt to change the PIN number, but was unsuccessful.

Police found a neighbor who had a surveillance camera that showed Sparks entering the victim's home and later loading the stolen items into the victim's car before driving away.

Sparks swiped her phone, laptop, car keys, debit card, two televisions and placed the items in her Toyota RAV4 and fled. Despite her injuries, the victim eventually freed herself and ran to a neighbor's house to call police.

Police were already familiar with Sparks and knew that he was staying in the same neighborhood as the victim. Four days later, the victim's vehicle was found in Sparks' hometown of Flint, Michigan.

Police learned that Sparks sold the car to a friend in Flint in the days following the robbery and were able to locate him and take him into custody. He fully confessed to his involvement in the crimes.

Sparks has a lengthy criminal record dating back to March, 2000, including prior convictions for driving without a license, failure to submit certificate of insurance, assault on law enforcement officer, possession of marijuana, contempt of court, false identification to law enforcement, obtaining money by false pretenses and multiple convictions for failure to appear and community diversion: Violation on misdemeanor. Some of the crimes include more than one count.

Colin D. Stolle, commonwealth's attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced Circuit Court Judge A. Bonwill Shockley's sentencing pronouncement.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Michael D. Defricke prosecuted the case.

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#AttorneyMichaelDDefricke #VBCommonwealthAttorneyColinDStolle #JudgeABonwillShockley #ColinDStolle #EarlLavernSparks

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