The two men who robbed a 101-year-old veteran on Memorial Day could serve up to 35 years in prison.
District Judge James Wilson on Tuesday gave Robbie Hernandez, 28, and Jordan Burkhart, 24, the maximum possible sentence for breaking into James Sorrentino’s south Carson City home and robbing him at gunpoint.
Each received 6-15 years for the robbery and a consecutive 6-20 years for the elder victim enhancement.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger said afterward the sentence was completely appropriate given the nature of the crime. He said Hernandez, who has a prior criminal history, brought the gun to the apartment and held it to the head of Sorrentino’s caretaker Melanie Klein.
Burkhart, Krueger said, broke through the door of the home and, when Hernandez pointed the gun at the woman’s head, said, “Shoot the b----h.”
Both defendants will have to serve a minimum of 12 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Krueger said he agreed to drop several other charges and let the two plead guilty because of Sorrentino’s failing health. Sorrentino died of natural causes Oct. 24, days shy of his 102nd birthday.
Krueger praised Sorrentino describing him as a true gentleman who was more concerned for his caretaker’s safety than for himself.
“I was never afraid for myself,” said Sorrentino in a letter to the court before his death. “But I was afraid for Melanie.” For himself, he wrote he was “angry, felt violated that someone would dare break into my home and afraid she would be hurt.”
“I hope that these men will be put where they can never hurt people again,” he wrote.
The two defendants reportedly asked repeatedly where the safe was. Sorrentino said there was no safe in the home. The men left the home with only a few items.