04/07/06 — Man sentenced for armed robbery

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Man sentenced for armed robbery

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 7, 2006 1:46 PM

A 29-year-old man from Fayetteville has been sentenced to four to five years in prison for his part in an armed robbery of a restaurant owner and assault in 2003 in Wayne County.

Dennis Washington pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and was sentenced in Wayne County Superior Court to 46 to 65 months.

Judge Jerry Braswell of Goldsboro ordered that the sentence be served at the same time as other sentences that were imposed for other similar crimes elsewhere in eastern North Carolina.

Washington had been charged with first-degree rape, first-degree burglary, armed robbery, first-degree kidnapping and attempted armed robbery.

Washington and another man were accused of following a restaurant owner Aug. 6, 2003, as he brought the day's receipts to his apartment on Lockhaven Drive. The suspects barged inside and held the couple at gunpoint. The other man raped the wife, and the pair stole about $2,000 and other property.

Assistant District Attorney Claud Ferguson presented the state's case. Charles Gurley of Goldsboro defended Washington.

The other man, Marcus Devon Bryant, 27, of Spring Lake, pleaded guilty May 31, 2005, to two counts of armed robbery and one first-degree rape. He was sentenced to 55 to 68 years in prison.

Bryant admitted to the armed holdups of two stores on U.S. 70 East -- the Olde Quaker House Gift Shop and the Olde Country Store -- in the same time period. He netted less than $200 in the robberies and was sentenced to at least 10 years for each holdup.

Washington and two other men were accused of robbing and assaulting 15 Asian and minority shopkeepers during the summer of 2003 in eastern North Carolina.

The outbreak of crimes led to a summit meeting of law authorities from Goldsboro and four nearby cities and Wayne and Johnston counties. They swapped information, and within a few days, Washington and Bryant were arrested.

A third suspect, Curtis Arlandea Washington, 20, of Fayetteville has not yet been tried.