Wilmington man found guilty in June 2012 purse snatching

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Markyes Jones
Markyes Jones

A Wilmington man was found guilty last week of a June 2012 purse snatching in downtown Wilmington.

Markyes Jones, 21, was found guilty Friday by a New Hanover County jury on charges of common law robbery and conspiracy to commit common law robbery, according to a news release from District Attorney Ben David. He was ordered to serve an active sentence of 10-21 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.

Jones and his co-defendant in the case, 20-year-old Sean Ray McMahan, were charged in connection with the robbery of a Wilmington resident on June 21, 2012, David said. Jones and McMahan were sitting on a stone wall near the Community Arts Center when they saw two women walking along Second Street, David said. The women crossed the street to avoid the defendants because they felt threatened, he added.

“The defendants gave chase and the women attempted to run. One of the women was knocked to the ground by the defendants,” David said. “The two men struggled with her for her purse, pulled her purse from her, and then fled the area.”

Law enforcement set up a perimeter and found the defendants hiding in shrubs in the area of Front Street and Ann Street. A short foot chase ensued and both subjects were apprehended, David said. The victim was treated for injuries at the scene by New Hanover EMS.

Sean Ray McMahan
Sean Ray McMahan

McMahan entered a guilty plea on Aug. 27, 2012. He received a three-month active sentence, plus 48 months of probation. If McMahan violates the terms of his probation, he will be ordered return to prison for another 12-24 months.

In the months following his co-defendant’s plea, Jones was ordered to submit himself for a mental health evaluation at Central Regional Hospital in Bunter in December 2012, Assistant District Attorney Connie Jordan said.

“In my opinion, the defendant delayed complying with this order to put off the case. If defendants are in custody, they are transported by the Sheriff’s Office. Since a judge had released the defendant from jail on an unsecured bond, it was his responsibility to travel to Butner for the evaluation,” Jordan said when asked about the delay in Jones’ trial.

The defendant complied with that order in July 2015, when he was faced with jail time, Jordan said. The evaluation cleared him for trial in January. The defendant’s original attorney withdrew from the case, she added. According to court records, attorney Brian Moore was later appointed to represent Jones.

“This type of robbery is all too frequent in Wilmington,” Jordan said. “This was really nightmare for the victim and she feels a loss of security to this day.”