A Twiggs County man tortured Saturday morning during a home invasion robbery was burned with hot scissors an estimated 40 times, according to the Twiggs County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigator Robert Rodgers said the assailants took apart a pair of scissors and heated one of the blades on a gas stove.
Robert Luce, 61, was burned on his neck and back while the men demanded to know where he kept money in his home, on Lettie Way off Sgoda Road just west of Interstate 16.
Paul Stafford, 41, of Laurens County, is accused of burning Luce during the torture, which also included beating Luce while he was bound with duct tape, Rodgers said.
Stafford, a registered sex offender, had been released from prison in November. Since 1999, he’s served three stints on charges ranging from escape and aggravated assault to attempted aggravated sodomy, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Denis Jones, 42, of Twiggs County, was on bond at the time of the home invasion at Luce’s home in connection with allegations that he robbed Luce in 2011, Rodgers said.
Jones previously had worked for Luce, the investigator said. Luce is retired. Information regarding his prior occupation wasn’t immediately available Tuesday.
Authorities said Jones confessed to the robbery when they arrested him Saturday. Gregory King, 21, of Twiggs County, also confessed and helped identify other men involved in the robbery when he was arrested Sunday, Rodgers said.
Jones and Donald Stanley, 35, of Laurens County, are accused of driving Stafford and King to Luce’s house for the robbery, Rodgers said.
Stafford, arrested Sunday, refused to talk with deputies. Stanley denies he was involved in the incident, Rodgers said.
Sheriff Darren Mitchum said Luce was in his yard at about 9 a.m. Saturday when King and Stafford forced him inside at gunpoint. The men had arrived at Luce’s yard, which is fenced with a gate, earlier and allegedly waited for Luce to emerge from his house.
Inside the house, the men moved Luce into a hallway where they tied him up with duct tape and tortured him, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
Luce eventually relented and told the men where he had cash stored in the house, Rodgers said.
Before leaving with $3,000, Luce’s wallet and two laptop computers, Stafford blew out the flame on the stove used to heat the scissors, he said, but the gas was left on.
Luce called the sheriff’s office after working the tape off his hands, Mitchum said.
The injured man was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia, where his wounds were treated. He was released the same day, the sheriff said.
“He’s pretty shaken,” Rodgers said.
Surveillance video from Luce’s home security system captured images from the robbery, according to the sheriff’s office.
Images from surveillance footage of convenience stores also helped authorities identify the men involved in the home invasion. Laurens County deputies and Dublin police helped match names to some of the men in the photos, Rodgers said.
Mitchum said the $3,000 was spent before authorities arrested the four men. It wasn’t clear what the money was used to buy.
Stafford and King are charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Stafford additionally is charged with burglary, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the sheriff’s office.
Jones and Stanley are charged with being parties to armed robbery and burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, according to the news release.
The four men were being held at the Twiggs County jail and awaiting bond hearings Tuesday, according to the release.
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