Defendant sentenced in 2020 fatal Terre Haute robbery

Oct. 27—Another defendant has been sentenced in the August 2020 robbery and beating death of a Terre Haute man.

Dwight Brown, 31, of Utah and formerly of Terre Haute, pleaded guilty Friday in Vigo Superior Court 6 to robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 2 felony punishable by 10 to 30 years in prison. Murder and other charges were dismissed.

Judge Michael Lewis sentenced Brown to 30 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, 27 years of those years executed and three years on formal probation, according to a news release from the Vigo County Prosecutor's Office.

The family of Dwayne French was present in the courtroom to hear Brown admit his responsibility for the crime, prosecutors said.

Discussing the case, Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said, "The evidence showed that Dwight Brown was actively involved in the robbery portion of this crime. He was present when Dwayne French was attacked, and when the money was stolen.

"Because of that added level of responsibility compared to the other two co-defendants who have pleaded guilty, we felt that he deserved a higher sentence. As such, we asked for a 30-year sentence.

"Judge Lewis acknowledged this defendant's greater involvement in the crime and gave him an appropriate sentence," Modesitt said.

Dwayne French of Terre Haute was attacked Aug. 21, 2020, at his residence in the 1300 block of Ash Street. French told police he'd been beaten with a ball bat and his wallet was taken, but then he lost consciousness.

His assailants made off with about $1,500.

French was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis because of the severity of his injuries. He died Sept. 2, 2020.

Already sentenced in the case was Candace B. Jones, 25, Terre Haute, who pleaded guilty to robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. In August of this year, she received a sentence of 20 years in prison and five years probation.

Richard Durbin, 46, of Terre Haute, whom authorities said drove the vehicle involved, had been set for trial Monday. He has agreed to a plea and is to be sentenced Jan. 5, 2024, in Vigo Superior Court 3, according to online court records.

The final defendant Jesse Hess, 36, is scheduled for trial March 4, 2024, in Vigo Superior Court 6. He faces murder, battery and robbery charges.