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Moultrie Police tell us they have the accused triggerman in a shooting in custody after two weeks on the run.More >>
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Monday, May 20 2013 11:28 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:28:47 GMT
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BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) –Three young armed robbers from Thomas County will spend at least ten years in prison for their crime.
They all entered guilty pleas.
Prosecutors hope the prison sentences will send a strong message to anyone thinking about committing similar crimes in Bainbridge.
On January 12th, 20-year old Marty Barber walked into this Bainbridge Kangaroo Express with a sawed off shotgun. He demanded money from the cashier and took off outside, where 20-year old Joshua Rogers and 16-year old Jacob Hutchinson were waiting in a van.
"This is a perfect example that for $175 they're now going to do time in a state penitentiary," says District Attorney Joe Mulholland. "If you look at that it's about $17 a year that they could have made through a couple hours of work at a fast food restaurant. Certainly crime doesn't pay."
"If they do they crime, they do the time. That's how I was always raised," explains Dana Compton, a Kangaroo Express customer. "If we can get them behind bars and prosecute, that's good."
All three were charged and convicted with armed robbery even though it was Barber who actually went into the store.
"A lot of young people don't understand that just because you're not the gunman, in Georgia, you can be just as responsible," Mulholland explains. "If you aid or encourage in any way, you're going to be serving at least ten years as well. So if you're in that situation, get out as fast as you can."
And authorities say age doesn't matter either.
"We had one juvenile involved and we treated him the same. We have to," says Mulholland. "And unfortunately, these decisions will impact them for the rest of their lives."
City leaders are hoping the convictions and lengthy prison sentences will send a message to criminals.
"Hopefully we won't have any armed robberies like this in the future. We haven't since then and hopefully this message has been sent," Mulholland points out.
Compton agrees, "I hope it does. A lot of these kids are getting out of control and they need to step up and take responsibility for their actions."
A lesson learned the hard way for some.
Joshua Rogers and Jacob Hutchinson will both serve ten years without parole, followed by ten years probation.
Marty Barber, the actual gunman, will serve fifteen years without parole, followed by a ten year probation.