HAMMOND — A 21-year-old Gary man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 11 years in prison for his role in an August 2017 armed robbery of a Munster cellphone store.
Deshalone Damien Davis is among five accused in the robbery, which ultimately led to a police chase into a residential neighborhood of Gary. A 15-year-old suspect named Kemonte Cobbs was shot and killed by police.
Davis was sentenced this week to 135 months in prison on his plea of guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch.
Davis and his co-defendant Vondell Henry Jr., both 20 and of Gary, were charged in August.
Davis pleaded guilty Feb. 5 to the two-count indictment, court records show. Under a sentencing agreement, he must also serve three years of supervised release and pay $17,011.05 in restitution.
Prosecutors have said Davis and others involved robbed the Cellular Connection, an authorized Verizon retailer at Ridge and Calumet in Munster, at 5:45 p.m. Aug. 1. A number of customers, including children, were in the store at the time, court documents state.
“Committing a brazen act of violence, in the middle of a crowded store during the early evening hours when many people are around will never be tolerated in this District." U.S. Attorney Kirsch said in a release. "The sentence today shows the seriousness of this type of offense."
Surveillance footage from the store shows Davis and another suspect had guns and pointed those weapons at employees and customers inside, the memo states.
“At first one, then two, of the robbers went into a back room and forced an employee to empty phones out of a cabinet and put them into a bag for the robbers. An employee was also forced at gunpoint to empty the cash register. All four robbers fled the store after the robbery and got away in the getaway car driven by co-defendant (Henry),” court documents state.
Henry surrendered, but four others fled on foot. Davis was apprehended shortly after, the memo states.
Tasheena Brooks, mother of Cobbs, is still battling in court with municipal attorneys over access to information about her son's death. Cobbs was allegedly armed with a handgun.
In recent months, Brooks has appealed to the Gary City Council for information about her son's death. She has also partnered with Black Lives Matter in Gary to protest her son's death and call on law enforcement to release all video and audio recordings of the shooting.