Final home-invasion trial ends |

Final home-invasion trial ends

In comparison to his fellow defendants, Charles Clay Giffen Jr. walked away from court Friday a poorer man but a free one.

The 18-year-old was the last of a group of South Lake Tahoe teens charged in a January 1999 home invasion crime to go through the court system. Giffen pleaded no contest to a charge of malicious mischief on Sept. 17. On Friday he was ordered to pay $3,900 in restitution. The majority of the cash is to pay for damage done to a 1977 red Cadillac, and $400 is for a television destroyed during the incident.

According to investigators, Giffen was part of a group of seven to 10 men, some wielding baseball bats, who destroyed property and terrorized several residents in a home on Oakland Avenue. The incident was reportedly in retaliation for a fight the night before.

The other teens implicated in the crime, who pleaded to more serious charges than Giffen, have all been sentenced to some amount of jail time. Ryan Paul Ross, 18, pleaded to a charge of conspiracy and was given 120 days in the El Dorado County Jail. Charles Newport, 18, was sentenced to seven months in the county jail for conspiracy. Both were also ordered to pay the $3,900. All three young men have equal responsibility in compensating the victims.

In June and July, two other young men convicted in the Jan. 31 crime and a November 1998 home invasion, faced even harsher judgments. Christopher Hourula, 18, was sentenced to one year in the county jail and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. Keenan Sims, 18, was sentenced to a year-and-a-half in the county jail, and also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to his victims.

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