Teen gets 70 years for rape, robbery, kidnapping

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A teenager has been sentenced to 70 years for last year’s rape, robbery and kidnapping of a retirement complex manager in Madison County.

Steven Thomas, 17, dropped his head, but showed little other emotion when the sentence was read Tuesday in court. He had plead guilty to the crime, which occurred last September.

Thomas, armed with a shotgun, forced his way into the office at the Lula B. Covington retirement village and twice raped the victim, according to a report by Jackson-based WAPT TV.

A maintenance worker interrupted the attack and Thomas fled through a window, according to testimony.

The victim, whose identity is being withheld, asked Circuit Court Judge Samac Richardson that he show no mercy on the teenager, saying the attack still haunts her.

“When I sleep, I’m crying and I can see Steven Thomas standing in front of me and pointing a gun at me saying, ’Shut up. Do you want to die?”’

She directed her anger directly at her young attacker.

“Steven Thomas you are to blame for it,” she said. “You stole a part of me that I can’t find anymore. And I’m asking the court to make sure you never do it to anyone else again.”

Some of Thomas’ family and friends blamed the youngster’s actions on drug abuse that they said began when Thomas was just 12 years old. They said Thomas needed help, but the judge was not moved by pleas for leniency.

“Where was this support when this was going on?” Richardson asked about the alleged drug use. “Why couldn’t it have been stopped when he was 12 years old?”

Thomas was sentenced to 25 years each for two counts of rape and 20 years for armed robbery. Those sentenced will run consecutively while a 30-year sentence for kidnapping will run concurrently.

Thomas will have to serve all 70 years. In Mississippi, convictions on rape and armed robbery charges don’t offer the possibility of parole.