A Wilmington man who was scheduled for trial this week in the case of a Halloween 2014 armed robbery, pleaded guilty to charges in the case and was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison.
Andre Markell Lewis, 36, pleaded guilty Wednesday in New Hanover County Superior Court to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to a news release from District Attorney Ben David. Lewis was one of four suspects charged.
The armed robbery was reported in the 4900 block of Holly Tree Road at 6:19 p.m., according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay.
Lewis met with the victim – who at the time of the robbery was 29 years old – to collect a debt, David said. As the victim and Lewis were talking, three black male suspects approached and robbed the victim of his watch, marijuana and $200.
“One of the assailants left the scene and approached the victim’s car, where his girlfriend and two children were waiting. They were also robbed at gunpoint,” David said.
Lewis and the three masked men left the scene together, David said. A short time later, Lewis reported that he had been robbed and described the masked men. Upon investigation, detectives with the Wilmington Police Department determined Lewis had set up the robbery and that the masked men were acting under his instruction.
Amir Fennell, 17, Akeem Fennell, 18, and Aaron Lockhart, 19, were identified as the masked suspects, David said. They were each convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and common law robbery in 2015. Amir Fennell, Akeem Fennell and Lockhart each received 20-36 months in prison, followed by 30 months of probation, David said.
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Henry sentenced Lewis to 75-111 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.