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Man gets life term for robbing ex-boss

HANCOCK COVE, Duchesne County -- A young man who robbed his former employers in their home at gunpoint could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The friend he talked into accompanying him to the home of Boyce and Kathy Garvin also faces the possibility of a lifetime behind bars.Steven D. White, 22, and John T. Wilson, 20, both of Vernal, were each sentenced May 10 in 8th District Court in Duchesne to two terms of five years to life in the Utah State Prison on two first-degree felony charges of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in the Feb. 6 home invasion robbery.

White, who the Garvins had hired to do remodeling work at their home last summer, was also given an additional five-to-life sentence on a first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping charge. The sentences are to run concurrently.

White also faces a prison term in two unrelated cases involving felony forgery and receiving stolen property in Uintah County. His sentence in the Duchesne County case is to run consecutively with his earlier convictions in Vernal.

Wilson and White were also fined $1,000 on each count and ordered to repay the Garvins' $500 insurance deductible and insurance claim of $1,428 for damages caused to the home when the pair broke down a door. During the robbery the two men were wearing Halloween masks, waving guns and demanding the Garvins turn over their money and jewelry.

The Garvins were at the sentencing and received an apology from the men who bound their hands and feet, cut their telephone line and threatened to kill them.

They botched the job by leaving a cell phone on a table next to the couple when they made their getaway with just $105 in cash, a credit card and a shotgun.

Sheriff's deputies had been alerted earlier to a possible crime thanks to an aborted 911 call Kathy Garvin made before the robbers ran up to the bedroom.

The Garvins suspected their former handyman as the culprit but didn't say anything to him during the robbery.

White and Wilson were apprehended about 30 minutes after the incident as they were heading toward Vernal on U-40.

The pair agreed to a plea bargain in which nine of the initial charges against them were dismissed in exchange for guilty pleas to the first-degree felony counts.