KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A jury convicted an Independence man in connection with a violent home invasion and robbery.

Jurors found 32-year-old Theodore Watkins Jr. of illegally having the firearm used in the crime.

Court documents show Independence police officers responded to a neighborhood May 12, after someone noticed Watkins forcing his way into the home of an elderly woman.

Watkins refused to surrender when officers arrived, but eventually allowed the victim to leave the home.

The victim had bruises on her right arm, according to court documents. She told investigators Watkins originally came to her door and offered to mow her lawn. He then returned and forced his way into her home.

The woman said Watkins pointed a loaded handgun at her and demanded money. She told investigators Watkins began going through drawers, closets and other areas of the house, according to court documents.

When police arrived, Watkins threatened to have friends kill the victim unless she told officers he was helping her with yard work, according to court paperwork.

Watkins eventually surrendered to officers.

Police found Watkins’ gun in a return air vent in the victim’s bedroom when they searched the house.

Under federal law, it is illegal for a felon to have a gun or ammunition.

Records show Watkins has two prior felony convictions for robbery, two prior felony convictions for burglary, two prior felony convictions for armed criminal action, and prior felony convictions for drug trafficking, kidnapping, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Watkins faces a mandatory 10-year sentence without parole for being a felon in possession at his future sentencing hearing.

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