During robbery trial, victims describe being held at gunpoint
by Shaka S. Lias
Jan 05, 2011 | 2755 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"It was a face I will never forget for the rest of my life," said one of the victims in the Metro PCS robbery, testifying Tuesday in Bartow Superior Court.

The woman said she was in the store July 29, 2010, with her daughter and 8-year-old grandson when two men entered the store. She testified that she was waiting on her daughter to get a phone activated when one man walked to the counter and the other stood behind her.

The man at the counter was identified as Corey Mandrill Thompson, 27, who pleaded guilty Tuesday morning and received a 40-year sentence to serve 20 in prison and the remainder on probation. The other man was allegedly Henry Antonio Taylor, 37.

She said everything seemed normal until Taylor whispered in her ear, "Look I'm going to keep it real with you all, we fixing to rob the place."

She said he then showed her a gun, cocked it and instructed the three of them to walk to the back of the store.

Meanwhile, a Metro employee testified that Thompson pretended to be interested in phones. The employee testified that Thompson stood in front of her blocking her view.

"He came right in front of me, placed the phone on the counter and asked how much it cost to activate," she said.

She testified that she then noticed the two women and little boy walking behind the counter and noticed Taylor with his hand holding something but she couldn't see what it was.

"He told me to get the money out and go to the back with the rest," she testified.

According to the employee, the men weren't happy with the amount of money in the register so she gave them money bags from the previous day.

According to testimony from Bartow County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jonathan Rogers, the men left with $1,367. Rogers also testified that Thompson was apprehended the next day riding in a red car with 22-year-old Kristy Nicole Richardson.

Richardson is alleged to have driven the car on the day of the robbery. She is charged with party to the crime of armed robbery. Karen Wilkes, attorney for Richardson, said her client had no idea of the pair's plans. She said the men asked her for a ride to the Guesthouse Inn and she agreed.

Assistant District Attorney Sharon Fox called to the stand a guest who was staying at the hotel during that time. The woman testified that she saw the red car parked in between the hotel. She said it seemed strange to her so as she left for work she tried to memorize the tag number.

The woman said she could see the back of Metro PCS from her room, and upon finding out later that the store had been robbed, she contacted police with the information she had. Fox said the woman's information is "key to this particular case."

According to Wilkes, instead of going into the hotel to visit a friend, the men went to the phone store and robbed it, all unbeknownst to Richardson.

She said it wasn't until later that night that Thompson confessed to Richardson, who he was dating at the time.

Jamie Wyatt, attorney for Taylor, said there is no evidence that his client was there. He said Taylor was in Ft. Payne, Ala., on the day of the robbery and that Richardson is lying to protect the third person. Taylor was arrested a few days after the robbery.

"Mr. Taylor didn't go to the store and commit robbery," Wyatt said.

The trial will continue today with more testimony. Taylor waived his right to take the stand. Richardson, however, stated she would like to testify.