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Four years given in Radio Shack robbery

Batten, Tawaan-webBy MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A Charlotte, N.C. man will serve four years of a 15-year sentence for robbing the Fairlawn Radio Shack store July 16.

Under a plea agreement with the Commonwealth, Tawaan Maurice Batten, 22, pleaded guilty to an amended robbery charge essentially removing the use of a threat to rob. Charges of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and breaking and entering with intent to rob were both nolle prosequi (not prosecuted with the option to refile).

The agreement called for a 15-year prison sentence, with all but four years suspended.

A jury recently recommended Batten’s co-defendant, Shelton Jamal Smith, 24, of Charlotte, serve eight years on his robbery and firearm charges. A judge will officially impose sentence July 12.

A trial date has not been set for Batten and Smith’s co-defendant, Cedric Bernard Gillum, 24, of Salem.

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis said at the time of the robbery that three black males entered the store, in Walmart Shopping Plaza in Fairlawn, around 7 p.m., taking an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register. He indicated one of the suspects was armed with a “large handgun.”

All three suspects were arrested the day after the robbery. Davis said police seized weapons and cash following their arrest.