From staff reports
A Yemassee man who wielded a knife during the armed robbery of a Ridgeland convenience store is headed to prison.
Deshone O’Neal Allen, 39, pleaded guilty Thursday, April 15 of armed robbery with a deadly weapon in Jasper County General Sessions Court. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He also received a five-year sentence for possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime, which will be served concurrently.
“Mr. Allen has a lengthy criminal history but until now has not been sentenced to any significant prison time,” said Lynorr Musser of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “He ran out of chances when he went into that convenience store with a knife and a plan to commit a crime.”
Just past 3 a.m. on Dec. 6, 2019, Allen approached a clerk outside the Taylors BP on Heron Drive in Ridgeland as she was sweeping up trash in the parking lot. He told her he wanted to buy cigarettes and cigars, and then followed her inside the store.
The clerk went behind the register to retrieve the tobacco products. Instead of paying for them, Allen pulled a knife and demanded that the clerk give him all of the cash in the register. The clerk briefly tried to talk him out of the robbery, but Allen said he intended to follow through and removed money from the register himself.
Allen grabbed more than $1,500 in bills, as well as cigarettes the clerk had placed on the counter. He then left on foot.
The robbery was captured by store surveillance cameras, and Allen was quickly identified by a Ridgeland officer who knew him by sight.
Allen has previous convictions on several offenses, including assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (2007), second-degree burglary (2016), third-degree arson (2018) and third degree domestic violence (2019).
Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen handed down the sentence and also ordered Allen to pay $1,524 in restitution.