Man checks in to prison for mo­tel rob­bery

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

NOR­RIS­TOWN » A Pottstown man who robbed a bor­ough mo­tel at gun­point is now check­ing in to a state prison.

Damien Donte Hayes, 30, of the first block of East Sec­ond Street, was sen­tenced on Tues­day in Mont­gomery County Court to 1½ to five years in a state cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity af­ter he pleaded guilty to a felony rob­bery charge in con­nec­tion with the 2:11 p.m. Nov. 18, 2017, holdup at Amer­ica’s Best Value Inn on East High Street.

Com­mon Pleas Court Judge Richard P. Haaz, who ac­cepted a plea agree­ment in the case, also or­dered Hayes to pay $40 in resti­tu­tion to the mo­tel and to stay away from the busi­ness.

Other charges of per­son not to pos­sess a firearm, car­ry­ing a

firearm with­out a li­cense, sim­ple as­sault and theft by un­law­ful tak­ing were dis­missed against Hayes as part of the plea agree­ment.

At the time of the rob­bery, Hayes, who pre­vi­ously listed an address along Yerkes Av­enue in Nor­ris­town, was on pa­role for an Au­gust 2017 sim­ple as­sault con­vic­tion stem­ming from a Fe­bru­ary 2015 do­mes­tic-re­lated in­ci­dent in Nor­ris­town, ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers.

On Tues­day, Hayes ad­mit­ted that the Pottstown rob­bery rep­re­sented a vi­o­la­tion of his 2017 sen­tence for the sim­ple as­sault and the judge sen­tenced Hayes to serve 10 months and 21 days in back prison time for the vi­o­la­tion. That sen­tence will run con­cur­rently with the state prison term Hayes re­ceived for the Pottstown rob­bery.

Dur­ing the rob­bery in­ci­dent, Pottstown de­tec­tives alleged Hayes en­tered the mo­tel at 29 E. High St., ap­proached a fe­male desk clerk and asked for change.

“When the vic­tim opened the till, Hayes pre­sented a black hand­gun and placed it over the counter. Hayes de­manded money and the vic­tim pleaded with Hayes not to hurt her,” Pottstown De­tec­tive Heather Long wrote in the ar­rest af­fi­davit, adding the clerk handed over $40 and Hayes left the mo­tel.

Video sur­veil­lance was ob­tained from sev­eral sources dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and it as­sisted de­tec­tives in iden­ti­fy­ing Hayes as a sus­pect in the rob­bery.

“Dur­ing re­view, the tat­too that was pho­tographed on the back of Hayes’ right hand dur­ing a prior ar­rest can be seen on the video sur­veil­lance. Hayes in seen hold­ing a black semi­au­to­matic hand­gun in his right hand dur­ing the rob­bery,” Long alleged in court doc­u­ments.

De­tec­tives alleged a crim­i­nal his­tory check of Hayes de­ter­mined he had a prior con­vic­tion that made him in­el­i­gi­ble to pos­sess a firearm and a records check also re­vealed Hayes did not have a per­mit to carry a firearm, ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

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