A 37-year-old man has been sentenced to 28 years in state prison for a home invasion robbery in Dublin five years ago that injured the victim in the case.
Carlos Romero was convicted on Nov. 13 of home invasion robbery in concert causing great bodily injury and carjacking causing great bodily injury. The sentencing hearing was held Dec. 13.
Alameda County prosecutors said that exactly five years earlier, on Dec. 13, 2013, the female victim in the case was alone in her Dublin home when two men knocked on her door and said they had a package.
Prosecutors said when she opened the door, the men forced their way into her home, beat her and bound her hands behind her back.
The victim, according to prosecutors, was moved to the upstairs landing of her home, where the men ransacked the bedrooms.
The woman was able to untie her bindings and ran for the door, but the suspects caught up to her and beat her again, prosecutors said.
In addition, allegedly her hands were again bound behind her back and her feet were bound.
Prosecutors said Romero and an accomplice spent between 45 minutes to an hour inside the woman's home and stole about $25,000 worth of items, including her vehicle.
They also said the woman suffered a broken orbital bone.
Prosecutors said the investigation into the identity of the robbers was difficult because the victim wasn't able to make a positive identification.
But they said during the course of the crime the woman heard one of the perpetrators gargle some liquid and spit into her kitchen sink two or three times.
Prosecutors said when the crime scene technician Jean Zedlitz of Dublin Police Services processed the scene she noticed a yellow substance in the sink that seemed suspicious because she saw nothing in the kitchen that she could associate with the yellow substance.
They said Zedlitz called the officers who were with the victim at the hospital and the victim mentioned hearing one of the perpetrators spitting into the sink.
Prosecutors said swabs were taken and sent to the Alameda County sheriff's crime lab and Romero was eventually identified as a suspect in the case through a DNA match.