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Rapist, burglar gets life

LAWRENCEVILLE - The unsettling nature of Darrian Bryant's crime spree - namely the violent 2007 rape against a fellow student - didn't bode well for him in the eyes of a judge.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Hamil sentenced Bryant on Wednesday to life in prison plus 110 years for perpetrating a string of burglaries and the sexual assault in southeast Gwinnett two years ago.

The sentencing came after a jury convicted Bryant on all indicted counts, including rape, false imprisonment, three counts of aggravated assault and 11 counts of burglary.

Jurors concluded their day-long deliberations early Wednesday afternoon, said Dawn Taylor, Assistant District Attorney.

The trial shed light on Bryant's heinous, daylight attack against a fellow Parkview High School student, then 15, on March 28, 2007.

Bryant, who waited in the victim's kitchen until her school bus dropped her off, covered her head with a plastic bag, bound her hands behind her back with shoestring, dragged her to a living room and raped her.

He forced her to point out valuables in the home, then tossed her down a staircase, slammed her head through a lamp and struck her with a vase, gashing her forehead.

That crime was the culmination of a nearly one-year burglary spree in two Stone Mountain-area neighborhoods that set residents on edge.

Bryant's defense attorney, David Whitman, had said his client freely admits to the burglaries but disputes his involvement in the sexual assault.

The rape victim, who testified last week, couldn't directly implicate Bryant as her assailant, as he was masked at the time, but that proved immaterial when investigators lifted blood from Bryant's sneakers matching her DNA.

She testified the incident haunts her to this day.

Police also found items such as iPods and cameras stolen from the burglarized homes in Bryant's home and school locker.