A Gresham man who beat two men — including an elderly man in his 70s — in a home-invasion robbery in Damascus on Christmas Eve of 2011 will spend almost six years in prison.

Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Rastetter sentenced Samuel Hillman Wilson, 56, to 70 months in prison on Monday, Jan. 28.

Following a three-day trial ending Jan. 12, a jury found Wilson guilty of robbery, burglary, assault and theft in the Dec. 24 home-invasion robbery of a man in his 20s and another man in his 70s on Southeast Highway 212, said prosecutor Russell Amos.

The older victim is a mentor and father-figure to the younger victim, whom he'd taken under his wing and under his roof, Amos said. He also was training the younger victim in his trade, which is the refrigeration industry.

On Christmas Eve, the two were getting ready to go to the home of the younger man's mother for dinner when Wilson and another man went to the trailer home where the victims lived claiming that their car had broken down.

Then, armed with an ax handle, Wilson beat both men and demanded access to their safe. After seeing that the safe was empty, Wilson savagely continued to beat both men. The second man involved remains unidentified and at large, Amos said.

Police connected Wilson to the crime through DNA found on the ax handle, Amos said. His DNA was on file because of his criminal history, including convictions for burglary with a firearm — he claimed the victim in that case owed him money, Amos said — drunken driving, drug possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

During the Monday sentencing hearing, Amos asked that the judge sentence Wilson to 130 months, or nearly 11 years — 70 months for the robbery conviction plus 60 months for the burglary conviction. Wilson's defense attorney, however, argued that because the crimes were part of one “course of conduct,” the sentences should be served at the same time, not one after the other.

The judge agreed with the defense attorney and sentenced Wilson to 70 months in prison, the mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree robbery under Measure 11.

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