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Brooklet resident guilty of robbery
Jury convicts man of armed robbery, false imprisonment
Jerome Lawson
       A Bulloch County jury found a Brooklet man guilty Thursday of a 2008 armed robbery in Statesboro.
       According to Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Daphne Jarriel, jurors found Jerome Saaiir Lawson, 28, Woodyard Court, Brooklet, guilty of armed robbery and false imprisonment regarding the Oct. 28, 2008 robbery of Clyde's Market on Fair Road, next to Loco's Deli and Pub.
       According to testimony given by witnesses and prosecution during the trial, held before Bulloch County Superior Court Judge F. Gates Peed, Lawson entered the store around 1:25 a.m. that night and held a female clerk at knife point, demanding cash.
       The clerk "testified she was working third shift alone when Lawson entered the store and went to the restroom briefly before walking behind the counter," Jarriel said.
       Lawson then told the clerk "'You know what this is' and brandished a weapon, later determined to be a knife, and demanded that she turn over the money," she said.
       Lawson took off with $130 and the clerk dialed 911. Police found her locked in the office inside the store when they responded to the call, according to testimony by Statesboro Police Officer Andrew Smith, who was the first to arrive at the scene that night, Jarriel said.
Statesboro Police Det. Keith Holloway also testified, telling jurors how he, several other officers, and a K-9 unit from Reidsville tracked Lawson. The tracking dogs trailed his scent to the parking lot at Loco's, where police believe he left in a vehicle, she said.
       Later that morning, a Clyde's Market manager and her husband spotted Lawson walking on Ga. 67 near South Wynn Road, and noted he matched the description of the robbery suspect, she said.
       Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Investigator Todd Hutchens and Deputy Jason Kearney responded to the manager's call and apprehended Lawson, who was later positively identified by the clerk in a line-up, she said.
       "Lawson also made a statement to Det. Holloway that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions but later requested a jury trial in the case," she said.
       This wasn't the first time for Lawson in dealing with the law. Jarriel said he was previously convicted in 2006, twice on felony burglary charges, and once in 2007 for theft by receiving stolen property.
       Stuart Patray, an attorney with the Ogeechee Circuit Public defender's Office, represented Lawson during the trial.
       Jarriel, who prosecuted the case, recommended to Peed that Lawson be sentenced to the maximum penalty, which is a life sentence for the armed robbery charge, and a 10-year sentence for false imprisonment, to be served consecutively to the life sentence. Peed issued the maximum sentence Jarriel recommended.
       "Lawson will be required to serve a minimum of 30 yeas in prison before he will be eligible for parole," she said.

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