Joshua Jett sentenced for beating elderly man with tire iron during burglary in Lake Murray

Thomas Hoover, 81, was attacked in his home

SAN DIEGO - A man who broke into a Lake Murray home and beat an 81-year-old man over the head with a crow bar while robbing him was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 13 years in state prison.

Joshua Jett, 23, pleaded guilty in April to numerous felonies, including robbery, false imprisonment and elder abuse.    

Jett offered a tearful apology before Judge Kenneth So sentenced him to the maximum term -- 12 years and eight months -- despite statements from defense attorney Jeffrey Martin that Jett was "highly intoxicated" at the time of the crime, was a drug addict and had a low IQ.

But prosecutor Paul Greenwood said that while the victim has recovered from his physical injuries, he's been left fearful and filled with anxiety since the attack.

"There is a scar that's been left for him," Greenwood said.

Around 3 p.m. last Nov. 18, Thomas Hoover was home watching television when an older teenage boy came to his door in the 8400 block of Harwell Drive, asking if Hoover had any work for him.

The victim, who lives alone, testified at a preliminary hearing that he told the teen that he did not, then shut the door.

Five to 10 seconds later, Hoover was hit with a crow bar at least three times and fell to the floor. Hoover said Jett demanded money and threatened to kill him.

The victim also testified that Jett and the teen took a watch and two rings and other valuables from the home. The ordeal lasted five to 10 minutes, Hoover said.

San Diego police arrested Jett and a then-17-year-old Adam Lee Donaldson as they fled. Donaldson, now 18, is charged as an adult in the case and being prosecuted separately.

Greenwood said although Jett has received his sentence, the investigation is still far from being over, as they are trying and determine how Jett knew so much about Hoover, though the two had never met prior to the attack.

"We're still carrying on inquiries about who may have given the information about the victim and what may be stolen," said Greenwood.