Man gets 10 years for robbery

Published 10:27 pm Thursday, May 21, 2009

A man who was chased into the woods last summer after trying to rob a woman preparing to make a bank deposit received an active sentence of 10 years in court on Thursday.

Deon Marcel Gatling of Greenville, N.C., received a sentence of 14 years with eight suspended on a charge of robbery, three years for use of a firearm in the commission of robbery, five years, all suspended, for attempted malicious wounding of the woman, and four years with three suspended for receiving a stolen firearm.

Gatling was 19 years old on June 21 when he attempted to rob Taco Bell general manager Elizabeth Cordle at gunpoint as she was preparing to make a bank deposit. Gatling, a former employee of the downtown eatery, grabbed the deposit bag and put a gun up to Cordle’s shoulder, police said at the time.

Email newsletter signup

After Gatling dropped the gun and ran, Cordle and several other shopping center employees chased him into the woods near the Suffolk Plaza shopping center. Police found Gatling and the bag — which contained several thousand dollars — in the woods later that day.

Though Gatling had no prior record, Judge Carl Eason Jr. gave him a sentence far above the sentencing guidelines, which range from three years and 10 months to seven years and one month. He also was ordered to be on supervised probation for 10 years after his release, to undergo substance abuse counseling, to have no contact with the victim and to be banned from Taco Bell, said prosecutor Robert Sandwich Jr.