A 22-year-old man facing charges of breaking into entertainer Wayne Newton’s Las Vegas home was found guilty by a jury on June 21.
The Nevada court found Weslie Hosea Martin guilty of 12 felonies, including home invasion, theft of a firearm, robbery with the use of a weapon, as well as possession of a weapon by a felon, according to the Associated Press.
Martin, who has a history of burglary-related and firearms convictions, could face life behind bars. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 15 in the Newton case.
While Martin didn’t testify or visibly react to the jury verdict during the trial, he did smile for a news photographer while leaving the courtroom in custody.
Martin’s public defenders, Will Ewing and Chris Peterson, told jurors that their client was accused of crimes he did not commit. Peterson said they will seek leniency at sentencing and will evaluate the case for appeal.
However, prosecutors John Giordani and Jory Scarborough said the verdict was appropriate.
“What he was charged with is what he did. Plain and simple,” Giordani told the jury during closing arguments.
Martin Weslie on trial for 2018 robbery of Wayne Newton’s home. State says evidence proves Weslie is guilty of all charges. Defense says while he is not 100% innocent, he is being used as a scapegoat & not solely responsible for all charges. Newton to testify around 1p @News3LV pic.twitter.com/u0uazqpYLo
— Faith Jessie (@FaithNews3LV) June 18, 2019
The trail took three days with a jury of seven women and five men deliberating for about six hours.
On Tuesday, 77-year-old “Danke Schoen” singer Wayne Newton, his wife Kathleen McCrone Newton, and their 17-year-old daughter testified about encountering two burglars fleeing from their home. The day of the verdict, the family was not present in the courtroom.
Previously, Newton testified that he carries a gun and fired a shot in the air to scare away two burglars that he and his family apparently surprised when they arrived home after one of his Las Vegas Strip performances.
Newton said his wife said one fleeing man raised a tire iron as if to hit her before using it to attack one of the family’s large Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, while the other dog chased the other burglar.
While the Newtons weren’t injured in the incident, their dogs were treated by a veterinarian for head injuries and broken teeth.
Police reportedly also found evidence the intruders tried but failed to pry open a safe in the home.
During the trial, Martin’s lawyers conceded that Martin’s face was captured on a doorbell security camera at a neighboring home the night of the first Newton home burglary.
At the time the Newtons were in New York.
“(Weslie) Martin isn’t perfect,” his attorney, Chris Peterson, said in closing arguments. “He’s done some bad things. He did wrong. But he’s being charged with crimes he didn’t commit”https://t.co/T9vKeuana7
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) June 21, 2019
Authorities say Martin later sold items taken that night to a coin and jewelry business.
In July 2018 Martin was arrested and sent to prison for a firearms conviction.
Peterson told jurors that no items from the second break-in were sold or found by police, and only a vague video image from the Newton home stairway might have tied Martin to the second break-in.
The defense attorney also pointed to Kathleen Newton’s two-page written statement for police, which said nothing about having been threatened with a tire iron.
Wayne Newton is marking his 60th year performing his signature song, “Danke Schoen,” in Las Vegas and on tour. He used a cane in the courtroom, telling the jury he had recent back surgery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.