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Albany man sent to prison for 20 years

ALBANY,Ga. -- It took a jury five minutes to convict; it will take an Albany man at least 20 years to pay.

Rockney Puckerin was sentenced Wednesday by Dougherty Superior Court Judge Denise Marshall to serve at least 20 years in prison for multiple violent felonies before he can become eligible for parole, a court official stated.

Assistant District Attorney Kathy Fallin said Puckerin would be on probation for another 10 years if he qualifies for parole after 20 years.

Fallin said the family that Puckerin targeted for a home invasion was "very afraid and worried when they were brutally victimized and doubtful that anything would be done to bring their assailants to justice."

The family thought justice was served when a jury found Puckerin guilty on three aggravated assault counts, two armed robbery counts and possession of a gun by a felon March 16, Fallin said.

The Ricardo Gonzalez family plans a thank-you dinner of Hispanic cuisine for members of the law enforcement community involved in the case.

At least one four-legged member of law enforcement was also invited to the dinner. Bubie, the Albany Police Department's canine officer, led officers to weapons and ski masks used in the robbery and hidden at a 207 Pinson Road apartment.

"I've worked as an assistant district attorney for over 30 years and this is the first time that anyone has made such a kind offer," Fallin said. "I think it would be a great way to strengthen our relationship with our growing number of Hispanic neighbors."

Puckerin was the second Albany man sentenced for the crimes. Derek Leroy Roberson pleaded guilty to similar charges -- except the gun possession charge -- March 15.

Roberson, who used a crowbar during the aggravated assaults, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and will be eligible for parole after serving five years.