GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - A Berkeley County man was sentenced to 60 years in prison for a 2011 armed robbery in Goose Creek.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said 26-year-old Donte Samar Brown was convicted of three counts of armed robbery, five counts of kidnapping, second-degree burglary, and criminal conspiracy after nearly a week long trial. Brown must serve eighty-five percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
Prosecutors say the co-defendant, Christopher Wilson, pleaded guilty to similar charges in December 2013. Wilson was sentenced to a similar term of 60 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Brown and Wilson's convictions stem from an incident on Dec. 24, 2011, when two masked men, one armed with a butcher knife and the other with a handgun, forced their way into the back door of the local Zaxby’s.
Authorities say the suspects forced four employees to the ground before taking $3,700 from the manager’s office. They also took cell phones and wallets from some employees.
Prosecutors say while the manager laid on the ground, one of the assailants shot her in the back of the upper leg. The assailants then fled through the woods before crossing the street into a nearby neighborhood.
Officers with the Goose Creek Police Department responded quickly and were able to track the two men through the woods. With assistance from a Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit, the track led to both a ski mask and two small denomination bills that were taken from the Zaxby’s.
The ski mask was sent for DNA analysis, which led police to Wilson. During a search of Wilson’s home, Brown was found in the residence. Police also found the gun that was used in the incident, as well as personal property of one of the victims. A sample of Brown’s DNA was recovered from the handle of the gun.
Several witnesses testified about statements Brown made to them implicating himself as being one of the masked assailants.