Sacto 9-1-1
June 23, 2010
Man convicted for string of Natomas home invasion crimes

By Andy Furillo

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted a North Natomas man for committing four home invasion robberies -- including two in which he raped his victims -- that helped terrorized the neighborhood two years ago.

Sammie Lee Nichols, now 20, was convicted on 18 counts: the two rapes, five first-degree burglaries, four kidnappings for the purpose of robbery, four robberies, one kidnapping and two gun violations.

"All of these victims were really good, hard-working people," Deputy District Attorney Rob Gold said. "They had done everything right, but this was just the worst day of their lives. It was real rewarding when they can see that the justice system works."

The four North Natomas home invasions and another one outside the area happened in 2007 and 2008, Gold said. They occurred around the same time that North Natomas residents had expressed fear and concern over a violent string of attacks that had hit their neighborhood.

In the midst of the home invasions, more than 400 people attended a community forum at Inderkum High School.

Nichols was charged in the case Nov. 10, 2008, a few days after he was arrested on marijuana, gun and felony evasion charges. He was taken into custody after attempting to escape a sheriff's deputy who pulled him over for a cracked windshield, Gold said.

Nichols is facing six life terms as a result of his conviction. Judge Michael W. Sweet scheduled his sentencing for Aug. 6.

Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141.

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