Charlotte man claimed he was home during York Co. kidnappings. The jury disagreed.

Jarnelle Ervin was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Jarnelle Ervin was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

A Charlotte man on trial for kidnappings during a York County home invasion claimed he was home with a bum ankle after injuring himself playing basketball when the crimes happened.

A jury said that was nonsense.

Jarnelle Ladariius Ervin, 23, was sentenced to 60 years in prison late Thursday after a jury convicted him of eight felonies from a 2016 York County home invasion near Clover.

Judge John C. Hayes IIII sentenced Ervin after a three-day trial at the Moss Justice Center in York.

Four people were bound and beaten in the July 11, 2016 crime. Ervin was convicted Thursday of four counts of kidnapping, burglary, conspiracy, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, court records show.

Ervin claimed in an alibi defense that he was not involved in the crime and was at home injured from a sports injury, prosecutors said. However, eyewitness testimony, evidence and Ervin’s own statements to police after his arrest showed he was one of the men who tied up four people, said Matthew Shelton, the 16th Circuit Assistant Solicitor who prosecuted the case along with assistant solicitor Dan Porter.

‘Mr. Ervin gave a statement to police that completely contradicted that he was home,” Shelton said after the trial. “He was caught up in too many lies.”

Ervin and another man, Jermaine Lowery, 24, also of Charlotte, were arrested weeks after the crime after York County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department detectives worked together to identify them.

Lowery, 24, was sentenced to 30 years in prison last month after pleading guilty to the same charges.

Shelton, the prosecutor, said Lt. Pete Branham of the York County Sheriff’s Office detective division, Det. Melissa Cicio from Charlotte, and several other officers with both departments located the suspects and were able to make the arrest.

“The police work in this case was outstanding,” Shelton said. “It was a team effort of detectives, patrol, forensics and others to bring these two people to justice.”

The trial took three grueling days of testimony and included graphic accounts of how the victims were assaulted and bound before they were robbed.

Shelton, the prosecutor, said even the judge at sentencing was appalled by the violence that occurred during the crimes.

Hayes, the judge, sentenced Ervin to two consecutive 30-year terms for the kidnappings. Ervin will not be eligible for parole, Shelton said.

“Judge Hayes said in court at sentencing that short of a homicide case, this was among the most heinous cases he had ever presided over,” Shelton said.

The victims in the case endured two years of worry and concern until the verdict was reached, Shelton said.

“The victims were dragged along with this act of violence for two years, and now are relieved that it is over,” Shelton said.