Man sentenced for 2016 armed robbery

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Daniel Warren Harris pled guilty Tuesday morning to charges of a gang act and aggravated assault after taking part in an armed robbery on Feb. 4, 2016. According to Assistant District Attorney James Powers, Harris was sentenced to 35 years to serve 20 years.

“He pled to one count of aggravated assault and one gang charge. Twenty years to serve on aggravated assault followed by 15 years of probation on the gang charge consecutive,” Powers said. “Aggravated assault is a parole-able offense.”

Harris participated in a home invasion with seven or eight other people, according to Powers. A couple and their epileptic infant child were held at gunpoint during the invasion.

“[The group] knocked on the door. [The man] was expecting his cousin around that time, so he opened it right up, and one of the men pistol-whipped him in the forehead causing a large laceration and then all seven or eight of them rushed into the apartment. They were all armed with either a rifle or a pistol and they held [the two] at gunpoint,” he said. “While the other members just ransacked the home. The baby, in all the excitement, being epileptic, started having a pretty violent seizure on the couch, so the mom was trying to get to the baby, and they wouldn’t let that happen. It all happened pretty quickly, and they ran out.”

The suspects took cash, electronics and anything they could easily carry, Powers said. The victims later identified Harris in a lineup. He was the only person out of the group of suspects they personally knew, Powers said.

“The only person of those seven or eight who they had known prior to this happening to them was Daniel Harris. He had been to their house three times,” Powers said. “They knew him by the name ‘Philly.’ They were able to determine that Philly was Daniel Harris, and we were shown through Facebook evidence that his Facebook name was Daniel Philly Harris. They both identified him 100 percent in the photographic lineup, and they were ready to come to court and from the stands say ‘we know that guy. That guy, that’s the guy that did that to us.’”

Harris is a member of the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods, according to Powers. He was previously on first offender probation after participating in a shooting in 2011, Powers said.

Powers said the District Attorney’s Office looks for certain hand signs and colors to identify gang members. The investigators were able to determine others who participated in the robbery were also in the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods based on a post Harris put on his Facebook page.

“At the time the offense was committed, [Harris] was a member of that gang, and the very next day he posted to Facebook a photograph of himself and another Bloods gang member holding a large sum of cash and putting something in the captions [about the robbery] as they’re standing there with guns and cash and bandanas,” he said.

Harris pleaded guilty before the trial began, Powers said.

“As soon as [Assistant District Attorney Jack Winne and I] told him that we were going to start picking a jury, he asked for another deal. He had been offered at one point of time 30 years to serve 15 years and so he asked for something less than 15 today,” Powers said. “I told him ‘no.’ I offered him 30 years to serve 16 years to armed robbery meaning he would serve every day of the 16 years or of the 35 years to serve 20 years to aggravated assault, and he took the second deal.”

Powers said Harris could serve between 13 years minimum and likely a maximum of 18 years.

“He made the right decision by taking 35 years to serve 20 years. It was a solid case,” Powers said. “I was confident that we were going to win, but the victims really didn’t want to testify, which is understandable when this happens and you hear that it’s a gang member. But they were here today and they were willing to testify, but they were very happy that he took the 35 to serve 20. “