BASS LAKE – Two men who pleaded no contest in the robbery and beating of a 77-year-old woman and her disabled adult son in the Bass Lake Annex in November 2017 were sentenced today in Bass Lake Superior Court. But not before the victim’s granddaughter had her opportunity to speak about the family’s suffering since the horrific crime.
Ray Coleman, 24, and Alvin McDonald III, 19, both of North Fork, accepted a plea deal on June 7, and were back in court today for sentencing.
But before Judge Charles Wieland handed down their sentences, Jessie Moore, granddaughter of the victim Lois Moore, spoke to the court about the terrible aftermath of the home invasion robbery that occurred on Nov. 18, 2017, leaving Lois in a coma and her family devastated.
“My grandmother is a firecracker of a woman,” said Jessie. “She has been the leader of the pack all my life. Now she fights for her life every day, not only physically but mentally. She struggles to understand why. I watch as she thinks with all her might to figure out what happened, and searches as hard as she can for answers. She struggles to walk, has had to relearn to eat, and now weighs just 96 pounds.”
According to court testimony, Coleman and McDonald had been drinking on the night of the attack, and decided to go to the Moore home on Cedar Lane in the Bass Lake Heights to rob a safe that they had been told was inside the house.
On the ruse of needing to use the bathroom, the two knocked on the door and gained entry into the residence where Lois lived with her adult son Charles Moore.
Once inside the home, Coleman got into a physical fight with Charles. Hearing the altercation from her bedroom, Lois came into the living room with a gun, which McDonald grabbed from her and used to bash her in the head, rendering her unconscious.
Due to the severe beating, Lois suffered blood clots in the brain which required major surgery and the removal of part of her skull.
“She was in a coma for six days and on a ventilator for eleven,” Jessie told the court. “On the eleventh day, we had to make the tough decision to remove the tube to see if she could breathe on her own, or if she would die. We held her hand and the medical staff urged her to cough. She did. She survived.”
Over the next few months, Lois slowly regained some of her mental faculties, and moved on to the monumental task of learning to walk again.
“She’s made leaps and strides in her recovery that nobody would have predicted,” said Jessie. “People cry that grandmother was murdered that night. That’s simply not true. She is a strong woman.”
Though Lois’s 55-year-old son Charles was not seriously injured in the attack, Jessie says he is now “lost.”
“He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia years ago and has never been without his mother his entire life. He’s had a large number of ups and downs, but he was fairly stable. Now his entire world has changed.”
Jessie said she has had to quit her job to take care of her grandmother, and give up the condo where she was living with her children.
“Everything I built for myself and my kids has had to be put aside,” she told the judge.
But Jessie said that even though their lives have changed forever, the family is strong.
“My grandmother has a very stubborn nature,” said Jessie. “I urge the two men who did this to her to acknowledge and be grateful for that stubborn nature, because that’s the reason they aren’t facing murder charges. When Alvin and Ray attempted to rob my grandmother, the only thing they got away with was the consequences of their crimes.”
Judge Wieland then sentenced Alvin McDonald to 17 years in prison. Ray Coleman will serve 19 years behind bars.