Teen involved in home invasion sentenced to prison

Samuel Jacob Bravo

Samuel Jacob Bravo

KINGMAN – Samuel Jacob Bravo was sentenced Monday to 5½ years in prison for armed robbery and car theft, avoiding a longer sentence by taking a plea bargain for a violent home invasion a year ago.

The sentence was handed down by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge George Foster.

Bravo, 16, was originally charged with first-degree attempted murder stemming from the incident on Jan. 27, 2016, when he and two accomplices invaded a woman’s home on Fairgrounds Boulevard.

They allegedly beat her dog, threatened to rape her and forced her to drive to an ATM, where she withdrew cash for them. Bravo fired a weapon, the bullet grazing the woman’s arm and causing temporary hearing loss.

One of the teens, Ashlin Gene Whitesinger, 18, was already sentenced on Nov. 9 to four years with 286 days of credit for time served for animal cruelty and second degree burglary. The other teen, Andrew Rene Granados, 16, is scheduled for sentencing Monday.

Bravo’s mother, Melanie Nunez, felt her son was being discriminated against because of his Native American and Hispanic heritage, but said she was satisfied with his sentencing.

“Up until then, I was a nervous wreck,” Nunez said at her home. “They had asked for five to 20 years, which was pretty harsh. He’s very remorseful, very sorry for what he did. When I heard him say that in court, it lifted me.”

Deputy County Attorney Jacob Cote said Bravo was prosecuted as an adult on the armed robbery charges because they were stronger than the attempted murder charge, due to the relatively minor nature of the bullet wound.

“I can assure you I prosecuted him not for who he is, but for what he did,” Cote said. “His name meant nothing to me. I’d never heard of him. The plea was for five to 20 years. He got six months more than the minimum. He could have gotten significantly more time.”

Bravo was connected to another robbery just days before when a 64-year-old man told Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies that three males entered his home and robbed him at gunpoint.

Nunez said she called Kingman Police Department and turned her son in for his own safety. He had been labeled as “armed and dangerous,” and Nunez felt he might have been killed by police.

“He was ready to face the consequences,” she said. “I’m so glad. It’s probably the best thing because he’s all right and I know where he’s at. He knows what he did was wrong.”

Bravo has already served close to a year in Mohave County jail, and could have his sentence reduced for good behavior, which would give him less than four years in prison.