Con­vict pleads guilty, sen­tenced in 2013 truck stop rob­bery

Record Observer - - News - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­times@kibay­

CEN­TRE­VILLE — A man al­ready serv­ing a 9-year prison sen­tence at the James T. Vaughn Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter in Smyrna, Del., was sen­tenced Tues­day, Feb. 7, to 12 and a half years to the Mary­land Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tion for the 2013 rob­bery of Trail­way Truck Stop in Cen­tre­ville.

Charles La­mont Fin­ney, 38, pleaded guilty in Queen Anne’s County Cir­cuit Court to the rob­bery and to two counts of theft. Judge Thomas G. Ross ren­dered the sen­tence and or­dered it to be­gin upon com­ple­tion of Fin­ney’s Delaware sen­tence. The case was pros­e­cuted by Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney Lance G. Richard­son. Michael Fricker, as­sis­tant pub­lic de­fender, rep­re­sented Fin­ney.

Fin­ney’s con­vic­tions were based upon his ac­tions in Jan­uary 2013, specif­i­cally charg­ing him for rob­bing the clerk at the Trail­way Truck Stop in Cen­tre­ville, Richard­son said. Fin­ney at­tempted to pur­chase items, then bran­dished what ap­peared to be a hand­gun and de­manded money from the cash reg­is­ter af­ter cashier Jaswinder Singh opened the drawer to com­plete the trans­ac­tion. Po­lice later de­ter­mined the gun was ac­tu­ally a pel­let gun.

Fin­ney got away with about $400 in cash. The rob­bery was cap­tured on store sur­veil­lance, and upon ques­tion­ing by Mary­land State Po­lice at the Delaware prison fa­cil­ity, Fin­ney made in­crim­i­nat­ing ad­mis­sions af­ter view­ing the pho­to­graphs of him­self, Richard­son said.

De­tec­tives specif­i­cally ques­tioned Fin­ney about a dis­tinc­tive leather jacket with a snake em­broi­dered on the back , which he was known to own and wear.

Fin­ney claimed he com­mit­ted his crimes due to his drug ad­dic­tion and said he had no in­ten­tion of harm­ing his vic­tims, Richard­son said. Fin­ney added he was re­morse­ful but that his des­per­ate ac­tions were a re­sult of hav­ing no sup­port sys­tem upon be­ing re­leased from prison.

In ad­di­tion to the truck stop rob­ber y, Fin­ney pleaded guilty to two counts of theft less than $1,000 in two un­re­lated cases. He had not con­fessed to those crimes and there was no phys­i­cal ev­i­dence or iden­ti­fi­ca­tions in the com­pan­ion cases, but the sus­pect matched Fin­ney’s phys­i­cal de­scrip­tion and the facts were con­sis­tent with the same modus operandi for the crimes, Richard­son said.

Fin­ney was will­ing to plead to those cases as well as the rob­bery in ex­change for the state not op­pos­ing a re­quest for an in­pa­tient drug treat­ment pro­gram for him be­fore his re­lease back into so­ci­ety near the end of his Mary­land prison sen­tence, Richard­son said.

Fin­ney’s sen­tence falls at the high end within the Mary­land sen­tenc­ing guide­lines, Richard­son said. He is a re­peat of­fender.

Richard­son thanked De­tec­tive Nathaniel Vansant of the Mary­land State Po­lice for his ef­forts and pro­fes­sion­al­ism in han­dling and solv­ing the case.

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