Two convicted of Pine Hills home invasion that left man with brain damage

Two men were found guilty this week after they held a family at gunpoint during a home invasion in Orange County.

On Tuesday, April 9, the Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit announced that an Orange County jury found two men, 36-year-old Broderick Thomas and 27-year-old Davonte McRae, guilty of home invasion and three counts of burglary of a dwelling with assault/battery with a firearm.

In addition, McRae was also convicted of attempted felony murder and aggravated battery (great bodily harm with a firearm).

According to court records, on September 15, 2021, Thomas and McRae forcefully entered a home in the Pine Hills neighborhood. They were both armed with firearms and were “intent on finding money and marijuana.”

Once inside the home, they forced all occupants into the kitchen at gunpoint and repeatedly demanded the whereabouts of cash and firearms. They also threatened to kill one of the women who was in the home, along with her nine-month-old baby.

During the incident, McRae struck two victims with his firearm, nearly killing one of them.

One male victim sustained “massive head trauma” after McRae repeatedly struck him in the head with a firearm after seeing him using a cellphone. As a result, the victim will have permanent brain damage for the rest of his life.

Court records further show that additional family members headed towards the kitchen after hearing the commotion. They were then forced at gunpoint to join the others in the kitchen.

None of the occupants who were home at the time of the incident had any association with drugs or firearms, according to law enforcement. Investigators later learned that one of the residents, who was not home during the altercation, was a garbage truck driver who “sold marijuana on the side.”

Law enforcement described the home invasion as a “highly violent and coordinated act.” In addition to being armed, Thomas and McRae used walkie-talkies to communicate with each other, and they had a getaway driver waiting outside the residence.

With the help of video surveillance footage in the area, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office was able to identify the suspects’ vehicle. Deputies were then able to track one of the victims’ stolen iPhones to a home in Carver Shores, where the vehicle in question was found.

At that location, deputies made contact with Thomas and took him into custody. Five months later, McRae was located and arrested.

During a trial that lasted six days, over two dozen witnesses were called. After deliberating, the jury found Thomas and McRae guilty of several charges related to the home invasion.

Thomas and McRae are scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, May 8. Both men are eligible for a firearm minimum mandatory sentence, and Thomas is also eligible for sentencing as a habitual felony offender and habitual violent felony offender.

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