KETR Local
11:59 am
Thu February 19, 2009

Sentencing today in Commerce robbery case

Commerce – There could be a resolution today in a Commerce armed robbery case. Two cousins, Arenza Von Hawkins and Justin Aaron Harper-Smith, both of Commerce, are scheduled to be sentenced today on charges of aggravated robbery. The two waived indictments and entered open pleas of guilty last month.

Reports indicate Hawkins and Smith in May, 2008 held three employees of the Chicken Express restaurant in Commerce at gunpoint before making off with money from the cash register. Employees told investigators they recognized Smith and three days later Smith, alongside Hawkins, admitted to the crime.

Aggravated robbery is typically filed as a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison.

Click the MP3 icon to listen as KETR's Greenville Correspondent Brad Kellar reports.