Home invasion suspects appear in court

2014-04-18T22:30:00Z 2014-04-19T23:38:09Z Home invasion suspects appear in courtGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

Three people charged in connection with a home invasion Tuesday appeared in Justice Court Friday before Judge Pro Tem Lance Lundvall.

Emilio Renova, 25, is being charged with one felony count of assault with a weapon and one misdemeanor count of partner or family member assault. He is being held on a total bond of $75,000. 

Renova is also a registered violent offender, having finished a sentence for aggravated assault in October. 

Darren Whiteman, 31, is being charged with felony robbery and is held on a $50,000 bond. 

Angelica Delao, 27, is being charged with felony robbery by accountability and held on a $10,000 bond.

According to Lt. Kevin Iffland of the Billings Police Department, a woman and her 18-month-old child were sleeping at their home on the 1700 block of Eighth Street West when she awoke at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to a loud banging noise.

The woman reported that it sounded like her front door was being opened, and when she looked out the bedroom she saw a man standing with a rifle. 

According to Iffland, when the woman slammed the door shut, the man started pounding on the door with the rifle, pushing its barrel through the door.

"The door was opened and the victim sat on the floor," Iffland said. "Another suspect came into the room and had another weapon and fired a shot narrowly missing the victim."

The intruders forced the woman, at gunpoint, into another room and she noticed a third person going through her refrigerator, the release said.

A Hispanic male intruder who was using a crutch allegedly demanded to know where the beer was.

The woman was not injured, and all three intruders left her residence a short time later, taking her cellphone with them.

Police later tracked the phone to an address on the 2700 block of Phyllis Lane, where they found and arrested Renova, Whiteman and Delao without incident.

When she spoke to police, Delao allegedly admitted that she accompanied Renova and Whiteman to the residence but said that she "stayed in the car while the robbery occurred." 

Officers then requested permission to search a white Pontiac Grand Am in front of the house with a warm hood. 

Whiteman apparently told Delao not to consent, which officers took as a refusal and impounded the vehicle. Officers received a search warrant for the vehicle the following day and found a .223 caliber rifle "with white paint on it." 

The remaining rounds in the rifle matched those found in the victim's door, the affidavit says. A revolver with five bullets was also found in the car. 

Further, court documents show officers found a piece of paper containing directions to the victim's house, as well as the name of one of her roommates.

The victim later identified Renova "as the male Hispanic suspect who took the phone during the robbery" in photo lineups. She identified Whiteman as the suspect "she believed demanded beer during the robbery." 

Whiteman appeared in court Friday using a walker.

All three suspects are being held at the county jail. Their arraignment dates were set for April 25.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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