By Brian Quinn, Daily Reporter
BELMONT — The sentencing of Tyler Evans, a defendant in the robbery of an Almond 7-Eleven store has been delayed until a judge rules on a defense motion to set aside guilty verdicts. A court session is scheduled for 1 p.m. May 27.
Evans appeared before Allegany County Court Judge Terrence Parker Monday for a scheduled sentencing. However, post-trial motions to set aside guilty verdicts on fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree robbery charges, brought by Evans' attorney, Canisteo attorney Edward Degnan, will first be considered.
The case stems from a Sept. 16, 2014, robbery at 7-Eleven on Main Street in Almond. Evans and another man, Aarron Withrow, entered the store and left with around $50. Withrow pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery and was sentenced in February to probation and halfway-house treatment.
On Monday, Assistant District Attorney Thomas Fuoco noted that in Degnan's motion, he raised several issues with the possession of a weapon charge. Fuoco said when Evans testified, he admitted to having a weapon. Fuoco said he thought the store clerk was coerced into giving the robbers the money.
“I think there's no basis for reversing the jury's verdict on that,” Fuoco said.
The assistant district attorney said the clerk was compelled to hand over the money. The robbers came into the store with hoods up and their faces covered and were fidgeting with their hands in their pockets, demanding money.
“I ask that the motions be denied on all grounds,” Fuoco said.
Degnan countered that the 7-Eleven clerk was in keeping with store policy to turn over the money.
“The testimony of the store clerk is the key element. There's nowhere in the clerk's testimony that he was threatened,” Degnan said.
Degnan left the courtroom afterward without further comment.
Fuoco said the store policy doesn't mean an employee automatically turns over money because someone comes into the store and demands it. The policy is in place to prevent people from getting hurt, he said.
Parker said, “Given the issues, I'm going to do a written decision on this in the next few days rather than ruling (Monday) from the bench.”
Almond 7-Eleven robbery sentencing on hold