SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A parolee who robbed and beat former San Diego City Councilman Harry Mathis during a break-in at the victim's home iwas sentenced Wednesday to 93 years to life in state prison.
Duson -- who has 26 prior felony "strikes'' -- including robbery and false imprisonment convictions from 1990 and 1993 -- pleaded guilty in late October to all 11 counts against him, including a separate robbery at a phone store.
Defense attorney Stephen Cline said Duson, 46, admitted all the charges because "it was ideally the right thing to do for him.'' Cline said Duson knows he will probably spend the rest of his life in prison and didn't want the victims to have to testify at trial.
Mathis, 79, testified during a preliminary hearing in May that he was attacked about 9 p.m. last Jan. 11 by two men as he got out of his car in his garage at his University City home.
"They were yelling, "Where's the cash?''', Mathis recalled.
Mathis -- who said he was legally carrying a concealed firearm because of two previous break-ins at his home -- testified that he struggled with one of his attackers over the gun but couldn't get a clean shot at the assailant.
Mathis, a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transit System board, said he fired two quick shots into the air in hopes neighbors might hear and call 911. He said he gave up the fight over his gun when one of the attackers hit him hard in the head, with what he thought was the butt of another gun.
The victim said the intruders put him, his wife and neighbor into a bathroom and left, but not before setting fire to some clothes in the kitchen and to one of the cars in the garage.
Duson was arrested in Arizona in February following a high-speed pursuit. The second suspect in the attack on Mathis is still at large.