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Second suspect gets 15-year sentence

Admits role in home invasion

POSTED: May 20, 2013 12:30 a.m.

The second of three suspects in a 2012 Cumming home invasion pleaded guilty on Friday in Forsyth County Superior Court.

Shaeem McLaren, 20, received a sentence of 15 years, with seven to be served in prison and the remainder on probation, for one count of robbery.

McLaren, of Cumming, was indicted for armed robbery, aggravated assault, theft and first-degree burglary, but the charge was reduced to robbery in the negotiated plea.

His co-defendant Robert Nash, 21, pleaded guilty to the same charge last week and received 15 years, with five to be served in prison.

The third suspect, Yusef Davis, 26, may enter a plea on June 3, according to the district attorney’s office.

The three men were arrested in connection with an Oct. 9 afternoon robbery in the Adair Park subdivision of Cumming. A resident was allegedly held at gunpoint and pistol whipped, according to Cumming police.

The three men, all of Cumming, are accused of taking money, jewelry, an iPod and Playstation 3 gaming system from the Clayton Circle home while armed with a handgun.

During his plea hearing Friday, McLaren said the resident was targeted at the urging of a friend.

That friend had given McLaren $2,000 to buy marijuana previously, and McLaren was robbed at gunpoint in a parking lot by a man he knew only as “Jay,” he said.

Upon finding out that the money had been stolen, McLaren said that friend told him to rob a different man he believed to be a marijuana dealer to recoup the loss and showed him the house.

His friends Davis and Nash joined him in the effort, which he said had not been thought out “to the full extent” that it was executed.

Nash waited in the car while he and Davis went to the house.

McLaren said Davis held the resident at gunpoint and told him to open the garage so they could get in.

They searched the resident’s room and Davis took about $200. McLaren said he left only with a Playstation 3 gaming system.

McLaren was arrested hours later, after a witness provided a tag number from his car’s license plate.

During the plea hearing, McLaren apologized to the resident, that family and his own.

“I’m very remorseful for what I’ve done. I’ve learned that I’ve got to watch the company I keep,” he said. “I just wish I could take it back, but I can’t. I accept what I’ve done, and I know it was wrong.”

McLaren stood before the judge with his father and mother next to him.

His mother said he had been an excellent student and athlete, but “got mixed up in the wrong crowd” at the time of the arrest.

McLaren attended West Forsyth High School, according to Forsyth County News archives.

His attorney, Parker McFarland, said McLaren was cooperative with authorities and assisted with the other suspects’ arrests.

That factor, combined with his age and previously spotless record, led McFarland to ask for the sentence to be under the First Offender Act.

Judge Philip Smith granted the request, which will allow the felony to be erased from McLaren’s record upon successful completion of the sentence.

Smith described the series of events as typical of a botched drug deal.

“When someone violates the rules on a drug transaction, you can’t go to court,” Smith said. “You end up making up the rules as you go along.”

In this case, no one was hurt or killed, he said, but like most, it ended in a “tragic situation.”

McLaren also received a $5,000 fine, $2,500 in restitution to the resident, 120 hours of community service and the requirement to testify in his co-defendants’ cases if they reach trial.


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