Man who used sawed-off shotgun in robberies gets 31 years

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A Texarkana man responsible for a string of Texarkana, Ark., burglaries in November 2014 received a 31-year prison sentence Tuesday in Miller County.

Kentrell Thomas, aka “Loco,” 20, stood with Texarkana attorney Charles Friday for sentencing before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson at the Miller County Correctional Facility courtroom Tuesday. Thomas plead guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon, a sawed-off shotgun, possession of a defaced firearm, and to three counts of aggravated robbery in connection with a string of hold-ups in late November 2014.

According to search warrant affidavits, Thomas used a sawed-off shotgun during robberies in Texarkana, Ark., Nov. 16, 21, and 29, 2014. The first robbery of the 900 East Street Family Dollar Store netted Thomas about $400. A second robbery of the same dollar store Nov. 29, 2014, only put about $80 in Thomas’ pocket. Between his armed visits to the dollar store, Thomas held up a Metro PCS phone store Nov. 21. He got about $400 and some cell phones from that crime.

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When Thomas robbed the Family Dollar for the second time Nov. 29, 2014, the hoodie pulled around his face slipped, allowing video cameras at the store to capture images of his eyes and most of his face. Photos released to the media led to tips from members of the public.

Thomas was arrested two days after the last robbery and has been in jail since. Johnson gave him credit for the 562 days he’s been in jail since.

But Thomas won’t be getting out any time soon. Johnson sentenced Thomas to 25 years on each of the aggravated robbery charges but ordered they be served at the same time. On the prohibited weapons and defaced firearms charges Thomas received six-year sentences which Johnson ordered to run together. However, Thomas won’t begin earning credit on the weapons charges until he has finished serving time on the robbery counts. That means Thomas’ total sentence is 31 years.

Because he used a deadly weapon, parole eligibility could be delayed for as many as 20 years and eligibility for parole is not a guarantee that release will be granted.

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