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Man, 24, gets 25 years in prison for Caroline robbery

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A Hampton man will spend 25 years in prison for a 2013 robbery in Caroline County.

Cortney Lee Johnson, 24, was sentenced in Caroline Circuit Court on Tuesday to 59 years in prison with all but 25 years suspended on nine felony charges.

He was convicted in January of armed burglary, abduction, three counts of robbery and four counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

According to Caroline Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Diane Abato, the robbery occurred Aug. 3 at a home in Ruther Glen.

Abato said Johnson and four others came up with a plan to rob the man who lives there, thinking he was a drug dealer and had a stash of money.

A woman was visiting the home at the time of the robbery and was forced to get on her knees while a gun was placed to her head, Abato said. That gun was later discovered to be a pellet gun.

The intended victim saw what was going on, ran through the house and began shooting at the intruders before they fled on foot. No one was injured.

After their arrest, Johnson was the only one of the group who did not cooperate with police and he was recorded on a jail telephone trying to create a fake alibi for himself during the time of the robbery, Abato said.

He also told a parole officer that he had been in a gang since he was 14 years old.

Judge J. Howe Brown went above the sentencing guideline, which is just under 20 years, because of Johnson’s previous criminal history. That history includes several burglaries and grand larcenies in the Hampton area. Johnson received suspended sentences in those convictions.

“He has not been punished for this behavior and now his behavior is escalating,” Abato argued during the sentencing hearing.

Three of the four co-defendants in the case received sentences ranging from suspended time to 10 years in prison. Charges were dropped against a fifth co-defendant who had a minimal role in the robbery and was hit by a car driven by one of the defendants.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419


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