Two teenagers, including the son of a local police officer, were sentenced to up to five years in state prison for raiding and burglarizing a home while posing as cops.
But a Lancaster County judge also made the two teens eligible for a shortened sentence in boot camp, meaning they could be released as soon as this summer.
Luke Karpathios and Devin Gardill were sentenced Friday for the March 2 home invasion of a Chinchilla Avenue home in West Hempfield Township.
Both teens, who graduated in June from Hempfield High School, previously pleaded guilty to burglary, robbery, impersonating police and related counts.
Lancaster County President Judge Joseph Madenspacher handed down the sentencing of 2 to 5 years in prison. But the judge also agreed to allow the teens an alternative: serving a term of nine months in Pennsylvania's motivational boot camp.
The facility, the Quehanna Motivational Boot Camp, puts inmates through a "rigid six-month disciplinary and training program that, if completed successfully, results in their immediate release on parole to a community corrections center for no less than 30 days," according to its website.
Karpathios and Gardill were made eligible for the program by the state even though robbery convictions make most Pennsylvania inmates ineligible for the boot camp program.
The teens will be evaluated for physical and psychological conditions before being admitted to the boot camp. If approved they will undergo a three-month classification, bringing their total term there to nine months.
Karpathios' defense attorney, Jeff Conrad, said if the boot camp is granted by the department of corrections and the teens successfully complete it, they would become eligible for parole and being released from the facility.
In addition to the prison sentence, which is unlikely to be served, the teens were given five years of probation.
"We're very thankful for that sentence," Conrad said.
If accepted to boot camp, the teens would be expected to take on greater physical and treatment challenges and be exposed to higher levels of discipline. "Inmates failing to make the transition from one phase to the next are transferred back to a state correctional institution," the facility's website says.
Karpathios and Gardill, who were 18 and 17 at the time of the crime, barged into the home armed and wearing camouflage, according to police.
Three occupants of the home - a 69-year-old woman, her 21-year-old grandson and another man - were home at the time.
A male occupant of the house was beaten over the head before he stabbed the intruders, severely injuring them.
During the home invasion, the victims heard the intruders say they were with the “drug task force” and “DEA,” according to court documents filed in the case.
A defense attorney previously acknowledged that Gardill and the victims were friends.
During his sentencing, Gardill and his defense attorney spoke.
"The decision I made that night was impulse," Gardill said. "I know I need to pay for my actions."
"I'm not this kid. I was not brought up this way. I want to apologize to (the victims), my family and Luke's family," he said.
Karpathios had about 12 friends and family members present. Five of them spoke on his behalf including his mother, father and step-father.
Karpathios told his friends and family that the outcome of the situation would not define him.
"I'm terribly sorry for everything I have caused," he said.
Deputy attorney general Clarke Madden said Gardill and Karpathios violated one of the most fundamental rights a person can have by invading someone's home.
"They will have the millstone of felony convictions around their neck for the rest of their lives," Madden said.