CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 51-year-old man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for assaulting a Gilroy's Pizza employee three years ago in downtown Charleston during a robbery.
According to Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, Alonda Barron Desaussure was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for robbing and assaulting the man on Oct. 3 in 2010.
The armed robbery and assault occurred at approximately 9 p.m. Assistant Solicitor Meg Haley aid Desaussure had been begging for money on King Street earlier in the evening and had even asked two of the eye-witnesses for money.
Several hours later, Desaussure entered Gilroy's Pizza located at 353 King Street while the victim was cleaning in the back of the restaurant. The employee heard Desaussure enter the restaurant and remove the contents of the tip jar, so he confronted Desaussure and asked him to give back the money he had taken.
They argued about the theft and walked out onto King Street, where the dispute escalated and the victim asked a witness to call 911. While the witness was on the phone with the 911 operator, Desaussure took a knife out of his pocket and slashed the employee's face in order to escape with the tip money.
The victim and two witnesses provided police officers with a description of the Defendant, who had fled the scene on a bicycle.
Shortly after midnight, a Charleston police officer stopped Desaussure because he matched the description that had been put out over police radio earlier in the evening. After the officer located a kitchen knife on Desaussure, an eye-witness from the Gilroy's incident happened to ride by on his bicycle and identify Desaussure as the Gilroy's assailant.
Wilson said prosecutors sought the life sentence for Desaussure because he was a serial, violent offender. According to Wilson, he served a 30-year sentence after being convicted in 1987 for assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct for which he had served a 30-year sentence and previously had been convicted of grand larceny, housebreaking, receiving stolen goods, burglary and two robberies.
Wilson said, "Desaussure is the poster-child for seeking mandatory life without parole. We are extremely grateful that the victim and the witnesses took an interest in this case and helped secure a conviction for the community. Too often, that is not the situation we're in."