Two men who pleaded guilty to breaking into U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell's southern Iowa farmhouse armed with a BB gun last summer were sentenced Friday to prison.
A Decatur County judge sentenced David Dewberry, 20, of Fremont, Neb., to 25 years in prison for first-degree robbery. Cody Rollins, 20, of Lamoni, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting an attempted burglary.
On July 16, Dewberry, armed with a BB gun, forced his way into Boswell's farmhouse, grabbed the congressman's daughter and ordered her to give him money, County Attorney Lisa Jeanes said. As the 78-year-old lawmaker scuffled with Dewberry, Boswell's adult grandson pointed a shotgun at Dewberry, chasing him off. Boswell suffered minor injuries; no one was seriously injured.
Authorities said Dewberry and his family had lived in Iowa before moving to Nebraska. His mother had been friendly with Boswell's wife and Dewberry had been to the Boswell home.
Boswell was not in the courtroom Friday but submitted a statement, in which he addressed Dewberry, saying he was pleased Dewberry decided to do the "honorable thing by pleading guilty to your crime and accepting your punishment after committing the terror that you put our family through that summer night."
"What makes the whole matter more frightful and disgusting to us is that we once welcomed you into our home," the statement read. "Your sinister motives and plan were appalling. It is by God's grace that no one was seriously injured. We hope you realize how lucky you are that you weren't killed that night."
Prosecutors said Rollins helped plan the crime and drove Dewberry to Boswell's home.
"Unfortunately, this is a case where two young men made a really horrible choice, it was a big mistake and now they're going to have to pay the consequences of their actions," Jeanes said. "I am very glad no one was seriously injured."
Telephone messages left Friday for Dewberry's and Rollins' attorneys were not immediately returned.
Boswell's official residence is in Des Moines, where he moved after redistricting in 2000, but he kept his farm, in Leon located about 60 miles south of Des Moines, and visits often