COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A Colleton County man was sentenced on Thursday to 35 years in prison for robbing an elderly couple at a Walterboro hotel.
Prosecutors say following a four day trial, jurors convicted 31-year-old Mack Washington Jr. on two counts of armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
The Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office says on Jan. 7, 2012, Washington and a teenager planned to rob people staying at a hotel. After they failed to find a suitable target at another hotel, they went across the street to Rice Planter’s Inn on 97 Ladson Lane.
Authorities say the suspects waited behind a wall while an elderly couple walked into a hotel room. Investigators say Washington then grabbed the woman from behind and held a knife to her throat, demanding their valuables and threatening to kill her if they didn’t comply.
According to prosecutors, the teenager ripped the phone from the wall and stole the couple’s belongings. The two suspects made off with more than $14,000 worth of property, including the couple’s car.
The following day, police say they received information about two guns that had been stashed at a Sniders Highway apartment belonging to one of Washington’s friends. Investigators entered the home and retrieved the guns, and soon determined the guns were stolen from the couple.
After a series of interviews with the apartment resident, police interviewed the teenager, who was 16 at the time. Prosecutors say the teenaged co-defendant admitted that he and Washington had carried out the robbery. A warrant was issued for Washington’s arrest in February 2012 and he was taken into custody in June 2012.
“Justice has been done,” said career criminal prosecutor Tameaka Legette. “Mack Washington, Jr is off the streets and the community is much safer for that.”
Washington has prior convictions for four counts of burglary, four counts strong arm robbery, accessory before the fact of strong arm robbery, driving under suspension, resisting arrest and giving a false name to law enforcement.
Judge Perry M. Buckner handed down the sentence. By law, Washington must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole or any other early-release mechanism.