TIFTON -- An 18-year-old North Carolina man won't be eligible for parole until he's 63 after a Tifton judge sentenced him Thursday.
Julius Bryson of North Carolina and two co-defendants were charged April 12 with driving a stolen car to a rest area off I-75 in Turner County where they used a handgun or handguns to rob two people of their wallets. One person was beaten in the incident.
After the robbery, law enforcement officers spotted the 1998 Toyota Corolla and a high-speed chase began. The three men were arrested in Tift County.
"There was a chase during which time hundreds of lives were put in danger while you were trying to get away," said Judge Gary C. McCorvey, Chief Judge of the Tift Superior Court Circuit. The circuit includes Turner County.
Bryson, Tommy L. Brown and Marcus Singleton were indicted in April by a Turner County grand jury. Brown's and Singleton's cases haven't been settled.
McCorvey had already sentenced Bryson in Turner County to serve 20 years on one felony count of armed robbery and another five years for a felony charge of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime when two Turner County deputies transported him to the Tift County jail for sentencing Thursday.
The sentences were ordered to run without the possibility of parole.
"He has taken no steps whatsoever to show any remorse your honor," said Ronnie Wheeler, assistant district attorney. "I recommend the maximum sentence."
When Bryson was given the opportunity to speak, he told McCorvey he couldn't understand why he was receiving such a long sentence when compared to other crimes and stated that nobody had died in the incident.
"The problem, Mr. Bryson, is from the court's standpoint, armed robbery is considered just as serious as murder," McCorvey said. "I have no problem sentencing you."
McCorvey sentenced Bryson to serve an additional 20 years on the second armed robbery charge and another five on the weapon possession charge. He will serve a total of 45 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
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