Flint teen convicted of attacking, raping, robbing elderly woman - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint teen convicted of attacking, raping, robbing elderly woman sentenced to prison

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(02/18/14) - A Flint teenager recently convicted in the break-in, attack, rape and robbery of an elderly woman, in October of 2012, has been sentenced to spend the next 33-70 years in prison.

Denzel Berry was 17 at the time of the crimes. 

The victim was 87.

Berry went to trial in January. A jury quickly convicted him. 

The elderly woman was in court Tuesday, but her great granddaughter, Chelsea Byrd, spoke on behalf of the family, urging the judge to give Berry the "longest possible" sentence with no chance of parole.

"We all have our fears in life," Byrd said. "My great grandmother's biggest was that a female in our family would be attacked or raped. As mothers and grandmothers do, she always warned us to be careful, don't go places alone, don't go out after dark and to always be aware of who's near us."

The elderly woman was attacked as she was bringing groceries into her Flint home and in broad daylight.

DNA was key in this case. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says without it, they'd likely still be looking for the person responsible.

Prosecutors pointed out, in court, at trial, testing done determined the chance this was anyone other than Berry was one in 871-quadrillion.

Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah pointed to that when Berry proclaimed his innocence before being sentenced.

Berry says he doesn't know what they do at the state police lab, "mixing DNA," but says he will deal with that when he comes back for his appeal.

"I got a grandmother too. I got a mother. I got sisters. I got nothing but sisters. I'm my momma (sic) only boy," Berry says. "And I'm not gonna let no punk rape my grandmother."

Berry is also awaiting trial tied to charges stemming from an armed bank robbery in Mt. Morris Township a few weeks after the elderly woman's attack.

Police have said Berry submitted a DNA sample when arrested in the armed, bank robbery case and it later came back as a match in the Flint attack.

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