Man convicted of tying up and robbing business owners and their - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Man convicted of tying up and robbing business owners and their families

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Wareese Dorch Wareese Dorch
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MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) -

Prosecutors say he terrorized local business owners and their families in their homes and robbed them. Now, Wareese Dorch, 36, could spend the rest of his life in prison for violent home invasions.

Dorch's trial in Montgomery County court started Monday and the jury deliberated for most of the day Wednesday, ultimately convicting him on 11 counts of robbery.

The charges stem from crimes that happened last year in which local Indian business owners were followed and attacked in their homes.

On the evening of May 3, 2013 on Bell Road, Dorch and four other masked gunmen burst into a home and tied up two women and three children, ages 4, 9, and six months, who were there, covering their heads with blankets and other things they found in the house.

While that was going on, three other male victims came home and were confronted by the gunmen inside. Realizing they were outnumbered, the male victims stopped struggling and were also tied up. The gunmen took the nine-year-old child around the house at gunpoint, demanding he point out the location of valuable property and money.

One of the male victims was brutally beaten while on his knees in front of his family as the gunmen demanded more property. Montgomery County Chief Deputy District Attorney Azzie Taylor says the victim almost lost his eye sight from the beating.

Eventually, the attackers left with some cash and jewelry. They left the victims tied up but they were able to cut themselves loose and call police.

The second home invasion happened on June 13, 2013 at 4:15 a.m. on Charleston Court. A woman was leaving her home to open her store. Her husband was still asleep inside. As she walked out of her garage, she was hit in the head and forced back inside by multiple gunmen where they tied her up and covered her head as other gunmen went into the master bedroom and woke her husband up at gunpoint.

Her husband was forced to lay face down on the bed and his hands were tied behind his back and his head was covered with a plastic bag and tied at the bottom. His fingers were broken in the attack and the gunmen threatened to kill him and even told his wife that they had killed him, bringing her down to the master bedroom where she saw him tied up on the bed and thought he was dead.

At some point, the woman was sexually assaulted during the ordeal.

The gunmen ransacked the house and took money and jewelry and left. The female victim's employees called her because she was late for work and she was able to hop to her phone and tell them to call 911. Police found the couple tied up when they arrived. The wife needed two staples and 11 stitches in her head for a laceration and her husband still does not have full use of his hand. 

An anonymous tipster ended up calling Crimestoppers after the home invasions and provided names of the alleged gunmen.

Taylor says Wareese Dorch was questioned and confessed.

Another suspect, Alvin Woods, ended up pleading guilty to 33 counts of robbery, kidnapping and burglary in connection with the cases and he testified against Dorch. Woods has not yet been sentenced but Taylor says he faces 20 years to life in prison.

Other suspects arrested in the cases were not indicted by a grand jury.

Dorch is set to be sentenced July 23. The district attorney says Dorch faces 20 years to life on each of his 11 counts of robbery.

Prosecutors say all of the victims own businesses -- one has a retail clothing store, one has convenience stores and one was a former hotel owner. While it's not clear how exactly the victims were chosen, they were heavily surveilled by the suspects who were trying to learn their daily schedules. Taylor says it was referred to as "homework" -- following the victims to their businesses and homes. Taylor says the suspects were convinced that the victims would have large sums of money in their homes and during the home invasions, they were looking for safes and even taking mirrors and paintings down off the walls.

"Citizens here in Montgomery were targeted because they're business owners. The suspects thought they had large amounts of cash on them so they were followed from their businesses to their homes over several weeks... I am thankful that we were able to obtain a conviction on the case. Hopefully this will send a message to the community. I'm thankful that Wareese Dorch will be unable to commit these kinds of crimes upon other victims. Hopefully these victims will be able to get closure and move on with their lives," Taylor said.

"Any time you have someone who invades someone's home and ties them up at gunpoint and robs them, it's very serious. We took these cases very seriously, the Montgomery Police Department took these cases very seriously and the jury in this case took them very seriously," added Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey.

Along with the Montgomery Police Department, the county's Violent Crimes Unit helped handle the case. The unit is comprised of several deputy district attorneys and a dedicated investigator. Its formation late last year was the result of the 50 homicides in 2013. The District Attorney's Office received approval from the county commission for an additional prosecutor to help handle the case load. The unit is working to secure convictions in murders and high profile robberies.

"A message is being sent out to the community. If you commit these violent crimes, you will pay for them," Bailey said.

We attempted to speak to the victims in the Bell Road home invasion but they were not at home Thursday night. The woman in the second home invasion on Charleston Court did not want to be interviewed but she thanked prosecutors and investigators and said she was pleased with Dorch's conviction. 

"It's good he won't be able to do what he did to other people. I'm scared all of the time and my husband still has problems with his hand. I'm very happy that the jury found him guilty," she said. 

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