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Second man gets 60 years in Zaxby's robbery

  • Saturday, May 10, 2014

A second Goose Creek man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for his role in a 2011 robbery of a Zaxby’s that was solved with the help of DNA evidence.

After a weeklong trial, Donte Samar Brown, 26, of Jean Wells Drive was convicted Friday on three counts of armed robbery, five kidnapping charges, second-degree burglary and criminal conspiracy, the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office announced.

Before he’s eligible for release, Brown must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence handed down by 9th Circuit Judge Roger Young.

An accomplice, Christopher Darnell Wilson of Swamp Fox Lane, pleaded guilty to his role in December 2013 and also got six decades behind bars.

Testimony during the trial this week revealed that two men pushed through a back door to the St. James Avenue restaurant on Dec. 24, 2011.

One had a knife. One had a handgun.

They forced four workers to the floor and stole $3,700 from an office, as well as cellphones and wallets from the employees.

At some point, the gun went off, and a bullet wounded a manager in the leg.

The robbers ran through some woods and into a nearby community.

Goose Creek Police Department officers, along with deputies and a dog from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, tracked them. The search unearthed a mask and some cash taken from the Zaxby’s.

Lab experts later matched DNA on the mask to Wilson, the Solicitor’s Office said in a statement.

The test results led to his house, where the authorities found a gun with Brown’s DNA on it. Witnesses also implicated Brown as one of the masked robbers, according to the statement.

Assistant Solicitors Colleen Taylor and Mason West prosecuted the case.

Brown’s public defender was Debra Littlejohn.

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