Pizza delivery driver found guilty of robbery
Jan 15, 2013 (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
WATERLOO, Iowa -- The attorney for a pizza delivery driver accused to sticking up customers told jurors his client wasn't involved in a robbery.
Attorney Ray Walton said Deanthony Deire Kirkland pulled out a gun to keep the peace when a drug deal between others at a customer's home went bad.
"Things were getting violent or aggressive, and that's when the gun came out," Walton said.
Jurors didn't believe the defense's account and found Kirkland, 19, guilty of first-degree robbery, carrying weapons and first-degree theft on Monday. They acquitted him of first-degree burglary.
It took the jury about 90 minutes to reach the verdict.
Kirkland faces up to 25 years in prison for the robbery charge with a 17 and a half year minimum before he can be considered for parole. The theft charge carries up to 10 years.
Kirkland had delivered pizza to a Darlene Court apartment on Oct. 7. The residents invited him over to pay video games when he got off work.
Assistant County Attorney James Katcher said Kirkland returned with a handgun and three friends, who shoved their way inside, assaulted one of the residents and fled with video games, necklaces, phones and a liquor bottle.
The defense admitted Kirkland was carrying a gun but said the victims' didn't tell the whole truth about the incident. He noted they didn't go to police right away and didn't allow officers to search the apartment for evidence of a robbery.
Investigators found the liquor bottle and other items that had been removed from the apartment and discovered a 9mm handgun at Kirkland's home.
Sentencing will be at a later date.
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