Richmond man sentenced to 22 years in U.S. prison after armed robberies
Feb 21, 2013 (Richmond Times-Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A Richmond man was sentenced to 22 years in prison today for the armed robbery of a restaurant in which a patron was also robbed of a handgun he was openly carrying.
In pleading guilty to the Dec. 19, 2011 robbery of the McDonald's at 6808 Midlothian Turnpike, Khalief "Philly" Byrd, 21, also admitted robbing the Days Inn Hotel on Midlothian Turnpike and attempting to rob another McDonald's.
In the Dec. 19 robbery, Angela Mastandrea-Miller, an assistant U.S. attorney, said Byrd entered the restaurant armed with a black-and-silver handgun and ordered everyone to the ground, including a man wearing a holstered handgun at his waist.
Byrd ripped the Taurus PT 24, .40-cal. handgun out of the customer's holster and jumped over the counter with a gun in each hand.
Court documents show Byrd ordered the manager to the back of the store and handed him a bag in which he placed $2,630 from the safe. Byrd fled out the back door. Much of the robbery was captured on surveillance video.
Mastrandrea-Miller told U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne that while Byrd could face a much stiffer sentence, she believed a 22-year term in his plea agreement was appropriate.
"He did commit some very serious crimes, terrorizing three separate groups of people," she said.
Byrd's lawyer, Janipher Robinson, said Byrd was one of the most intelligent clients she has represented but pointed out his "horrific" childhood, drug abuse and some mental health issues including severe depression.
Byrd apologized for his crimes and said his life had been ruled by his drug abuse that he said he needed help to overcome.
Payne accepted the plea agreement calling for a 22-year sentence and told the Bureau of Prisons to continue Byrd on his anti-depression medication. He ordered other appropriate drug and mental health treatment including anger management.
The judge additionally ordered Byrd to make $3,019 in restitution for the stolen money and handgun. Payne told Byrd he was receiving a lenient sentence and that if he ever got in trouble again he would likely be facing life in prison.
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