Defendants Sentenced For Their Roles In Pawn Shop Armed Robbery
SAVANNAH, GA – Damien Maurice Singleton, 21, from Savannah, Georgia, Korrey Jones, 23, from Savannah, Georgia, and Antwan Benton, 21, from Guyton, Georgia, were sentenced today by United States District Court Judge William T. Moore, Jr. for their roles in the November 19, 2011 armed robbery of the Welsh Pawn Shop in Savannah, Georgia. Singleton was sentenced to over 20 years (243 months) in prison; Jones was sentenced to just under 15 years (179 months) in prison; Benton was sentenced to almost 9 years (106 months) in prison.
During the guilty plea and sentencing hearings, the evidence showed that on November 19, 2010, Singleton, Jones and Benton drove to the Welsh Pawn Shop on Skidaway Drive in Savannah, Georgia with the intent to commit an armed robbery of the pawn shop. Singleton and Jones entered the pawn shop and robbed two Welsh Pawn Shop employees at gunpoint. During the robbery, Singleton shot and wounded the two employees. Seven firearms were stolen during the robbery, including an assault rifle.
During the sentencing hearing of Singleton, Judge Moore stated, “This is one of the worst crimes I’ve seen since I’ve been on the bench. This was an intentional robbery and an intentional shooting of two victims, one of them execution-style. But by the grace of God, both victims are still alive.” In sentencing Singleton and Jones, Judge Moore departed upward from the range of sentences called for by the discretionary U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. In sentencing Benton, Judge Moore accounted for Benton’s cooperation with authorities during the investigation of the case.
United States Attorney Edward Tarver stated, “This Office’s top priority is the safety of our citizens. We will continue to bring the full force of the federal government to bear on violent criminals like these defendants. Let this case serve as notice to would-be violent criminals: if you commit an armed robbery of a bank, federal firearm licensee or any other commercial establishment, you can expect to spend years in a federal prison cell.”
In addition to prison sentences, Judge Moore ordered each of the defendants to serve 5 years of supervised release upon their release from prison. Each of the defendants were also ordered to pay $102,455 in restitution to pay for the individual victims’ medical bills and for the damages caused to the Welsh Pawn Shop.
The case was the result of an investigation by the ATF and the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Robbery Unit. The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charlie Bourne and Tania Groover prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For more information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.