TWO SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT IN DADELAND MALL ROBBERY AND MURDER
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), announced the November 2 sentencing of defendants, Dwight Carter, 26, and Emmanuel Maxime, 25, for their participation in the December 1, 2008, armored car robbery and murder of a guard at the Dadeland Mall. U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced both defendants to life in prison. The defendants had been previously tried separately and convicted in July and August 2010, respectively.
On July 30, a jury found defendant Dwight Carter guilty on a six count indictment charging him with conspiracy and substantive robbery counts, using a firearm in relation to the robbery, causing the death of the guard, conspiracy and substantive drug trafficking charges and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On August 13, a separate jury found defendant Emmanuel Maxime guilty of the conspiracy and substantive robbery counts and using a firearm in relation to the robbery, causing the death of the guard. Maxime was not charged in the drug trafficking counts.
At the sentencing hearing, prosecutors requested Judge Martinez to fashion a sentence that reflected the seriousness of the offense, provided a deterrent to others, and protected the public from further crimes by both defendants. After hearing a statement from a family member of the victim and considering the arguments of both defendants’ counsel, Judge Martinez issued the maximum sentence to both defendants. Dwight Carter was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 105 years’ imprisonment. Emmanuel Maxime was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years’ imprisonment.
Two other defendants in the case, Erskaneshia Ritchie and Nikkia Thomas, had previously pled guilty based on their roles as lookouts during the robbery. Ritchie was sentenced to 292 months in prison and Thomas to 235 months in prison.
According to the evidence presented during the trials, Carter and Maxime planned the robbery for December 1, 2008, to steal money from the stores during the busy retail weekend after Thanksgiving. Accordingly, on December 1, 2008, Carter, Maxime, Ritchie, and Thomas met at Carter’s house and traveled to the Dadeland Mall. Carter was armed with an Intratec 9mm, commonly known as a Tec-9, while Maxime was armed with a semiautomatic pistol. At the mall, Maxime entered the Express store to wait for the victim, who was employed as an armored car guard by Dunbar Security, keeping in contact with Carter to alert him of the guard’s whereabouts.
As the armored car guard was leaving the Express store, Carter and Maxime rushed at him. Carter shot at the guard fourteen times. Four of Carter’s shots hit the guard, killing him. Carter then took the guard’s money bag, containing more than $60,000, and fled with Maxime to a car parked near a service entrance.
After the robbery, Carter, Maxime, Ritchie, and Thomas returned to Carter’s house, where they divided the proceeds of the robbery. Carter, Ritchie, and Thomas then traveled to the MacArthur Causeway, where Carter disassembled and disposed of the murder weapon, and to railroad tracks in the north part of the city, where Carter burned the guard’s money bag and clothing Carter and Maxime had worn during the robbery.
Carter and Maxime were arrested on May 20, 2009. Both gave statements to Miami-Dade Police Department homicide detectives detailing their respective roles in the crime. Carter also led homicide detectives to the sites where he disposed of the murder weapon and burned the remaining evidence. Detectives recovered a piece of the Intratec 9mm as well as charred fabric from the sites Carter led them to.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ATF, FDLE, and Miami-Dade Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Lacosta and Scott Edenfield.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.