Prosecutors say he terrorized local business owners and their families in their homes and robbed them. Now, Wareese Dorch, 36, will spend the rest of his life in prison for violent home invasions.
Dorch received eleven consecutive life sentences for the series of brutal crimes.
He was convicted last month in Montgomery County court on 11 counts of robbery.
The charges stem from crimes that happened last year in which local Indian business owners were followed and attacked in their homes.
On the evening of May 3, 2013 on Bell Road, Dorch and four other masked gunmen burst into a home and tied up two women and three children- ages 4, 9, and six months- who were there, covering their heads with blankets and other things they found in the house.
While that was going on, three other male victims came home and were confronted by the gunmen inside. Realizing they were outnumbered, the male victims stopped struggling and were also tied up. The gunmen took the nine-year-old child around the house at gunpoint, demanding he point out the location of valuable property and money.
One of the male victims was brutally beaten while on his knees in front of his family as the gunmen demanded more property. Montgomery County Chief Deputy District Attorney Azzie Taylor says the victim almost lost his eye sight from the beating.
Eventually, the attackers left with some cash and jewelry. They left the victims tied up but they were able to cut themselves loose and call police.
The second home invasion happened on June 13, 2013 at 4:15 a.m. on Charleston Court. A woman was leaving her home to open her store. Her husband was still asleep inside. As she walked out of her garage, she was hit in the head and forced back inside by multiple gunmen where they tied her up and covered her head as other gunmen went into the master bedroom and woke her husband up at gunpoint.
Her husband was forced to lay face down on the bed and his hands were tied behind his back and his head was covered with a plastic bag and tied at the bottom. His fingers were broken in the attack and the gunmen threatened to kill him and even told his wife that they had killed him, bringing her down to the master bedroom where she saw him tied up on the bed and thought he was dead.
At some point, the woman was sexually assaulted during the ordeal.
The gunmen ransacked the house and took money and jewelry and left. The female victim's employees called her because she was late for work and she was able to hop to her phone and tell them to call 911. Police found the couple tied up when they arrived. The wife needed two staples and 11 stitches in her head for a laceration and her husband still does not have full use of his hand.
An anonymous tipster ended up calling Crimestoppers after the home invasions and provided names of the alleged gunmen.
Taylor says Wareese Dorch was questioned and confessed.
Another suspect, Alvin Woods, ended up pleading guilty to 33 counts of robbery, kidnapping and burglary in connection with the cases and he testified against Dorch. Woods was sentenced to 33 concurrent life sentences.
Other suspects arrested in the cases were not indicted by a grand jury.
Prosecutors say all of the victims own businesses -- one has a retail clothing store, one has convenience stores and one was a former hotel owner. While it's not clear how exactly the victims were chosen, they were heavily surveilled by the suspects who learned their daily schedules. Taylor says it was referred to as "homework" -- following the victims to their businesses and homes. Taylor says the suspects were convinced that the victims would have large sums of money in their homes and during the home invasions, they were looking for safes and even taking mirrors and paintings down off the walls.
"Citizens here in Montgomery were targeted because they're business owners. The suspects thought they had large amounts of cash on them so they were followed from their businesses to their homes over several weeks... The victims are extremely terrified. They were terrified each time I had to call them about court. Some of them are actually trying to relocate at this time so it's been really hard for them to continue on with life as normal.," Taylor said.
Along with the Montgomery Police Department, the county's Violent Crimes Unit helped handle the cases. The unit is comprised of several deputy district attorneys and a dedicated investigator. Its formation late last year was the result of the 50 homicides in 2013. The District Attorney's Office received approval from the county commission for an additional prosecutor to help handle the case load. The unit is working to secure convictions in murders and high profile robberies.
"The sentences were definitely appropriate in this case. I'm pleased with the sentences and I hope the victims are as well. Hopefully it sends a message to those who are contemplating committing these type crimes that they will not be tolerated and they will be punished for it," Taylor added.
WSFA attempted to speak to the victims in the Bell Road home invasion but they were not at home at the time. The woman in the second home invasion on Charleston Court did not want to be interviewed but she thanked prosecutors and investigators and said she was pleased with the outcome.
"It's good he won't be able to do what he did to other people. I'm scared all of the time and my husband still has problems with his hand," she said of Dorch.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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