A Batesville man convicted on charges in connection with an Afton home invasion will serve three years in prison, a Nelson County judge ruled last Tuesday.
Charles Dunivan Jr., 41, pleaded guilty in August to charges of threatening to burn a dwelling, burglary and property damage as well as two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in a case that involved multiple teenagers and adults accused of trying to break into a home.
At a sentencing hearing last week, Nelson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Garrett heard witnesses Deputy Micah Holmes and Desiree Moon recount the evening in June that Dunivan invaded the home of Desiree’s mother, Janice Moon.
Dunivan was looking for Desiree Moon’s fiancé, Michael Morrison, who Dunivan claimed owed him $20, Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin said.
Earlier that day Dunivan had gone to Moon’s home near Paulie’s Pig Out in Afton and threatened to burn the house down while demanding the money, Martin said.
Later that night, Dunivan called to the house to say he was coming back over, Desiree Moon testified.
Desiree Moon and Morrison called the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and officers went to the Rockfish River Elementary School parking lot across the street to wait for Dunivan to arrive. After waiting about 30 minutes, the officers heard yelling coming from Moon’s home around 10 p.m, said Martin.
Before police arrived, Dunivan and three minors smashed in windows and damaged a screen door and glass table, Martin said at Dunivan’s plea hearing in August. The group caused an estimated $2,650 in damages to the home, according to prosecutor’s evidence.
Dunivan managed to get halfway inside the home before getting physically beaten back out by the owners, Martin said.
Desiree Moon hit Dunivan in the leg with a baseball bat after Dunivan got his leg inside the door, but there was no apparent injury to Dunivan, Martin said following last week’s sentencing hearing.
Desiree Moon testified she told Morrison not to go outside and not to say anything to Dunivan.
“He was yelling ‘Come out Red [Morrison], you’re mine,’” Desiree Moon testified. “It was truly horrible. It was scary. We are constantly looking over our shoulders.”
Desiree Moon testified her mother told Dunivan she would have the money in the morning.
Dunivan’s wife, Amanda Gibson, testified last week on Dunivan’s behalf. He had a drinking problem but told her the night of the invasion that he was going to stop, she testified.
Gibson said in court she is on disability after having two back surgeries and Dunivan is the main support for their family.
Child protective orders were filed against Dunivan by the Albermarle County Department of Social Services since Dunivan put his children at risk of being abused or neglected, Martin said after last week’s hearing.
Martin described Dunivan as the ringleader in the home invasion.
“If you can’t feel safe in your home, then where can you feel safe,” Martin said in arguing for a five-year sentence. “He’s had a violent past. Now he’s taking it up a notch.”
Dunivan has been held in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail for close to six months since his arrest in early June, Martin said.
Dunivan brought both of his sons, who are minors, to the scene in June, Martin said.
Richard Kreger, Dunivan’s attorney, said in court Dunivan understands this was a serious case.
“I truly believe this man loves his children very much,” Kreger said. “There’s nothing to be gained here by further incarceration.”
When Garrett asked if he had anything to say before sentencing, Dunivan apologized for his actions and said he had learned his lesson.
“I hope you learned your lesson,” Garrett said. “When I first heard the evidence, I was amazed no one got killed. But you came to their house and that’s the problem.”
Dunivan previously has been convicted of assault, driving after being declared a habitual offender, possession of marijuana, assault and battery on a family member and making an obscene or threatening phone call, according to Martin.
Garrett sentenced Dunivan to 17 years and suspended all but three years. The judge ordered the defendant to have no contact with the victims. Dunivan also is ordered to pay restitution of $2,650 to Morrison’s landlord, John Falls, who owns the property.