NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A New Jersey man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a brutal home invasion beating caught on a home surveillance camera.
Shawn Custis was convicted June 1 of aggravated assault and other crimes for the terrifying June 2013 attack in Millburn.
The victim was brutally beaten in front of her 3-year-old daughter. She was making breakfast around 10 a.m. when Custis busted through the home's locked back door and began viciously beating her, eventually throwing her down a set of stairs.
The woman suffered injuries but survived and testified against Custis.
The child wasn't injured.
"This crime was done in an especially depraved manner," Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper said in court.
Custis has an extensive criminal history. His first burglary arrest happened in 2006. In 2009, he was arrested three more times, all in one month. Police took him into custody in March of 2011 but he was back on the streets by December 2012.
Custis was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree robbery. He won't be eligible for parole for 63 years and nine months. He was also sentenced to 10 years for aggravated assault, 10 years for burglary, five years for endangering the welfare of a child and five years for criminal restraint. All the sentences will run concurrently.
The victim broke down crying when the judge handed down the sentence, CBS2's Esha Ray reported. Custis tried to hide his face from cameras during the court proceedings, holding a folder in front of his face, Ray reported.
"The community, society the public must be protected from this vicious, evil, depraved person," Judge Ronald Wigler said. "We in a civilized society take comfort in our own home. That's the one place we should all feel safe. And Mr. Custis has taken that away."
Custis' attorney argued during the trial the police investigation was biased because a white officer responding to the crime scene was heard on the video camera using a racial slur.
Semper said he spoke to the victim after the sentencing, and she told him she finally feels safe inside her own home.
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