Lone surviving Pizza Hut robbery suspect pleads guilty, sentence - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Lone surviving Pizza Hut robbery suspect pleads guilty, sentenced to 12-16 years

Jalani Smith (Source: NHCSO) Jalani Smith (Source: NHCSO)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Jalani Smith, the only surviving suspect from the 2013 South 17th Street Pizza Hut robbery, pleaded guilty in court Tuesday and was sentenced to 12-16 years in jail.

Smith pleaded guilty to four counts of common law robbery and two counts of kidnapping. The judge sentenced Smith to two consecutive sentences with a minimum of 12 years in prison and a maximum of 16 years.

While in court, Smith apologized to his family, the family of the victims, and to the people of Pizza Hut.

According to arrest warrants, Jalani Smith, 20, Tevin Robinson, 20, and Ronald Roland, 18, held four Pizza Hut employees at gunpoint in October while they robbed the store. The warrants say the trio took $100 and two cell phones from the victims.

Police said the three men refused to comply with officers as they were leaving the business. Shots were fired and all three men were taken to the hospital. The men were found with two weapons on them.

Roland and Robinson both died as a result of their injuries during the situation with police. Smith was wounded.

The Wilmington Police Department held a news conference Tuesday afternoon regarding the shooting incident that took place in 2013.

Deputy Chief Marshal Williamson spoke on behalf of the department and relayed their sympathies to the families of those who died during the shooting.

According to Williamson, no dash camera video was recorded during the incident because the patrol vehicles were parked at a distance and the blue lights were not activated.

District Attorney Ben David also addressed the media regarding the sentencing. He said that none of the three suspects was carrying an actual firearm during the robbery. He said one of the guns held was a BB gun and the other was a starter gun.

David elaborated that Robinson and Roland were believed to be involved in other robberies around the area because of the similar nature in which those robberies occurred. He thinks justice was served in the case of the Jalani Smith.

"We're not to be guided by either emotion or sympathy. I look at the facts and the law," David said. "The facts are terrible in a case like this. The law is clear, both in the terms of the use of force and in terms of what we can charge Jalani Smith with. Based upon all of the facts and circumstances, I believe today's plea is appropriate."

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

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