Yesterday, a young man pled guilty to armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony regarding an incident that occurred on December 14, 2016. His name is Demarcus Stovall, and he is headed to prison for the next 27 years. Stovall was 20 years old at the time he committed the crime of robbing a nail salon in Douglas County.
Let's analyze the crimes in Georgia to which Stovall pled guilty.
The Georgia Code defines armed robbery in Georgia as when a person “with intent to commit theft, he or she takes property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device have the appearance of such weapon” (O.C.G.A. §16-8-41).
Stovall entered the demanding money from the employees and customers, who abided by his demands (intent to commit theft and the taking the property of another from the person) as he flashed his gun and ended up firing at the salon owner (by use of an offensive weapon).
When the situation above is described to anyone, the first thought is - that's armed robbery! Which is correct, but when assessing the Georgia Code, you can see how the two other charges made it through into Stovall's conviction.
The offense of armed robbery is considered a serious violent felony. A conviction can include the penalty of a minimum of ten years in prison to life in prison or even the death penalty.
The Georgia Code defines assault in Georgia as when a person “attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another or commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury” (O.C.G.A. §16-5-20). The offense is heightened to aggravated assault in Georgia when a person assaults “with intent to murder, to rape, or to rob; with a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation; or without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons” (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21).
Stovall flashed his gun (weapon likely to result in serious bodily injury) when he entered the nail salon while demanding money from the salon employees and customers (intent to rob). When the owner pulled a gun and demanded him to leave the salon, Stovall responded by firing at, but also missing the owner.
The offense of aggravated assault is considered a felony. A conviction can include the penalty of a prison sentence of one to twenty years.
Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony
The Georgia Code defines possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in Georgia as when a person has “on or within arm's reach of his or her person a firearm or a knife having a blade of three or more inches in length during the commission of, or the attempt to commit:
(1) Any crime against or involving the person of another;
(2) The unlawful entry into a building or vehicle;
(3) A theft from a building or theft of a vehicle;
(4) Any crime involving the possession, manufacture, delivery, distribution, dispensing, administering, selling, or possession with intent to distribute any controlled substance or marijuana” (O.C.G.A. §16-11-106).
This is probably the most straightforward and understandable. In the commission of robbing a nail salon, Stovall possessed a firearm.
The offense of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony is, itself, considered a felony. A conviction can include a prison sentence of one to five years, and the sentence will run consecutively to any other sentence which the person has received.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, you need to contact a top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.