Man pleads guilty in robbery case

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Suffolk man who robbed a convenience store clerk and her 14-year-old son at gunpoint last year was convicted in Suffolk Circuit Court Wednesday.

Just days before his jury trial was to start, Edward Jamal Taylor, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts each of armed robbery and using a firearm in the commission of felony and one count each of abduction, abduction with intent to defile, attempted rape, assault and battery and obstructing justice.

As part the plea agreement, the court dismissed three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony and one charge of grand larceny.

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Taylor will be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2006.

Taylor, who was arrested in New York last year, was indicted by a grand jury after the Sept. 25, 2004, robbery of Southern Food Mart on Carolina Road, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Marie Walls.

Taylor, a frequent customer at the store in the weeks leading up to the robbery, reportedly held a silver gun up to the head of the clerk’s 14-year-old son and locked him in a bathroom, said Walls.

Taylor then held the clerk at gunpoint, forcing her to open the store’s safe and give him approximately $4,500, Walls said. During the robbery, Taylor repeatedly kicked the woman and attempted to rape her before fleeing in her car, she said.

Although Taylor was wearing a hood and white mask over part of his face, the clerk recognized his voice and eyes from his past visits to the store, Walls said.

After the robbery, police contacted Taylor’s mother, who said her son was a “compulsive liar” and that he had recently said he needed money to return to New York. Although they did not recover the weapon, police in New York found bullets and money in Taylor’s apartment, Walls said

The obstruction conviction was from June 2005, when Taylor threatened a fellow inmate in Western Tidewater Regional Jail who testified that Taylor had told him about the convenience store robbery. Taylor reportedly told the jail guard to leave the cell door open long enough that he could hurt or kill him, Walls said.