December 20, 2013
GREENVILLE - Cory M. Rowe returned to Darke County to be sentenced for his role in a 2009 violent home invasion that left an elderly man seriously injured. The 27-year-old Arcanum man pleaded guilty Dec. 9 to one count each of Aggravated Burglary and Aggravated Robbery, both felonies of the first degree, and a gun specification.
Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein handed down a 13 year sentence in the case. He ordered that Rowe serve 10 years, to run concurrent with a seven year federal court sentence that he received Thursday on non-related charges, in addition to a mandatory three years for the gun specification.
Rowe admitted to authorities that he, along with his co-defendant Robert K. Gorrell, entered a residence on Palestine-Union City Road Nov. 12, 2009 to commit the robbery, during which the male homeowner was seriously injured.
“The male victim was badly injured during this offense and while we legally can’t show homicide here, I think in a layman’s sense the home invasion caused his death I think without much question,” Darke County Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Ormsby said regarding the male victim in the case. “After breaking his hip, he went downhill for more than a year before he finally passed away.”
“I want to apologize to the family for everything that has happened, I certainly didn’t plan for anything to go this way,” Rowe stated to the court during Friday’s sentencing.
“I was having a bad drug problem, but that is no excuse and I take full responsibility for my own actions. None of this would have happened if I didn’t have a drug problem,” he added.
“We are at where we are now because of Cory’s confession,” stated Rowe’s attorney Michael A. Rieman. “He signed a plea agreement with the full knowledge that he has to testify against his co-defendant. As you can see from his tattoos, he had joined a gang, but has since removed himself from his gang affiliations and that in of itself is putting him in danger while he is incarcerated.”
Surviving family members of both victims attended the sentencing hearing Friday morning. Two of which addressed the courts, blaming Rowe for contributing to the death of their loved ones.
“I know you had a drug addiction, but you destroyed my family,” the daughter of the victims said to Rowe. “Shame on you! You deserve everything this court can give you.”
“My sister was scarred for life after what you did,” said the sister of the female victim. “Shame on you, big lug!”
“Everyone loses when these things happen,” Rieman added. “It wasn’t just Cory there, it was they.”
Rowe, who will be 40 when released from prison in 2026, will be placed on post release control for up to 60 months.