A Gatesville man was sentenced to five years in prison late Tuesday for injuring an autistic teen.
Robert Justin Helbert, 21, was charged with a third degree felony of Injury to a Disabled Individual. Officials said he pled guilty to the crime Monday and requested the jury set the punishment.
Helbert was accused of punching a 17-year-old autistic boy that resulted in a hairline fracture of the victim’s eye socket and severe bruising.
In addition to the injury evidence, the jury heard Helbert had been on juvenile probation for Aggravated robbery and had been placed at the Texas Youth Commission when he violated the probation. When Helbert became an adult, he committee numerous misdemeanors and served time in a state jail for Burglary of a Building.
After half a day of testimony, the jury returned after lunch to hear closing arguments and began deliberating about 2:20 p.m. They returned about an hour later with the verdict sentencing him to prison.