YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — An Alliance, Ohio woman who pleaded guilty to her role in a 2019 South Side home invasion that left a couple clinging to life was sentenced today to at least 12 years in prison.

Judge Anthony Donofrio handed down the sentence in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to Nichole Taylor, 31.

Taylor pleaded guilty in October to charges of aggravated burglary and two counts of attempted murder for her role in a Sept. 19, 2019 home invasion on Wayside Avenue that severely wounded a man and his girlfriend.

Taylor had been free on a $30,000 bond until her sentencing today. A co-defendant, Robert Young, 45, who faces similar charges plus additional counts of aggravated arson, was to go on trial this summer, but he skipped his $40,000 bond and cannot be found.

Police said Taylor knocked on the door of the home and distracted the woman who answered the door to allow Young to run in while firing a gun.

The woman was shot multiple times, and her boyfriend, whose home they were at, was shot seven times, including three times in the face.

Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Trapp played surveillance video of the crime for the judge, and it showed Taylor knocking on the door, then once the door opened Young sprinted around the side of the house to the door firing a gun. As Young fired and he and Taylor went inside, a small dog can be seen running out of the door and under a car in the driveway.

In another video, the two leave before coming back, with Young coming back with what appears to be a semiautomatic rifle. 

Taylor can be seen running out seconds later carting a large bag over her shoulder that appeared to be full.

Police said Young later tried to burn the house down, but firefighters managed to extinguish the flames.

Trapp asked for a sentence of at least 15 years in prison, saying that Taylor, despite having no prior criminal record, was a willing participant in the crime.

“She started off with a bang,” he said of her first conviction.

The man who was wounded spoke, telling the judge he was shot several times and struggled with Young for his gun despite his multiple bullet wounds.

“He’s a big guy,” the man said. “I didn’t know if I would be able to withstand him.”

The two rolled on the floor before the man tumbled down his basement steps. He said he got a look at his girlfriend, who was lying in a pool of blood and he thought she was dead.

He saw her breathing and told her to play dead, the man said. He said he heard Young tell Taylor “to go down and finish the job.” He then said he heard several shots but was not hit. Trapp said about 40 shots were fired in the basement.

The man said he saw Taylor with a gun but she had never had a gun in any of the video footage played in court.

The man said his entire life has changed because of the shooting. He can’t use his hands or arms because of his wounds, so he can’t work construction anymore.

“I can’t even lift a two-gallon jug of milk,” he said.

Defense attorney Lynn Maro asked for a minimum sentence of up to six years for her client, saying she has no prior criminal record and that she has accepted responsibility for her actions with her plea. She also told the judge Taylor was never seen on video with a gun, although Judge Donofrio did point out that no one can see what happened inside the home. 

“I don’t think she appreciated the extent of what could happen,” Maro said.

Taylor apologized.

“I’m so sorry,” she said through tears. “I never meant for anyone to get hurt. I try to help people every day in my job.”

Judge Donofrio said a sentence greater than the minimum was necessary because of how Taylor lured the people in the home to the door for Young to shoot.

“What happened here was heinous, cruel and calculated,” Judge Donofrio said. “I’m aware of your lack of criminal history but my biggest concern is you facilitated this by allowing your co-defendant to lurk while you were at the door. You may not have pulled the trigger, but you are an accomplice to this crime.”

Taylor’s total sentence is 12 to 16 years in prison.