Corsicana — A Navarro County jury deliberated five minutes to find Noah Manuere guilty Tuesday, but took 35 minutes Wednesday to give him a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole for continuous sexual assault of a child.
The quick decision in the guilt or innocence phase was because of the nature of the evidence, said District Attorney Lowell Thompson.
“It was pretty straightforward,” Thompson said. “There wasn't an element of 'he said, she said.' It wasn't a question of whether or not the assault took place because we did have a baby and the DNA matched the defendant.”
The victim was younger than 14 when the first assaults began. Prosecutors Amy Cadwell and Will Thompson dated the first offenses to about October of 2012, although the investigation turned up reason to believe it had been going on longer than that.
Noah Manuere and his brother, Tarius attempted to flee the country in March 2013 to avoid prosecution, but were stopped in Hawaii and returned to Corsicana.
Tarius Manuere was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Navarro County jury last October. He was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child, but found not guilty of continuous sexual assault of a child.
Working on the case for the Corsicana Police Department was Det. Ronnie Phillips, the lead investigator, her supervisor, Sgt. Mark Nanny, and the entire crime investigations division, which helped at various times during the process from start to finish.
Police Chief Randy Bratton praised Phillips for her “perseverance and compassion,” on the case.
“It was truly a team effort that led to the arrests and convictions,” Bratton said.
Beyond Corsicana, the department also got assistance from the U.S. Marshall's office in Dallas, which used its contacts in Homeland Security to get help from the other agencies.
“We owe a lot to the U.S. Marshall's office, and the law enforcement officials in Hawaii,” Bratton said.