Circuit Judge Elijah Smiley sentenced two men Monday to prison for a home invasion robbery and shooting.
Jared Lucas Brown, 24, and Christopher Shane Harrison, 25, pleaded no contest to their roles in the home invasion robbery and shooting of Mark Rush in his Pine Drive home on Aug. 8, 2010. Brown was sentenced to 19 years in prison followed by nine years probation and Harrison received 17 years behind bars and 10 years probation.
Assistant State Attorney Christa Diviney was prepared to take Brown to trial this week when he unexpectedly pleaded straight up to the judge to principal to home invasion robbery with a firearm, principal to burglary of a dwelling with a firearm, principal to aggravated battery with a firearm and principal to grand theft of a firearm.
On Aug. 8, 2010, Rush retrieved the weekly cash deposit from his airbrush business at the Panama City Beach Walmart and brought it to his home. While there, Rush noticed someone in his yard. He opened the door and the man, later identified as Harrison, charged him and brandished a gun. They struggled over the weapon, which fired striking Rush in the forehead. They continued to grapple and Harrison fired a second shot that missed. He forced his way into Rush's office. When he couldn't find the cash, Harrison turned the gun on Rush and pulled the trigger, but it misfired. Rush was able to push Harrison from the house and Brown drove him from the area.
A fingerprint at the scene led police to Harrison. He told them Brown planned the robbery and called him when Rush left the business with the cash.
Harrison pleaded no contest to his charges in May, with the understanding that he would testify against Brown. After Brown's plea, Smiley sentenced Harrison.
Information provided by the State Attorney's Office