BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A 21-year-old Lowcountry man who, along with two others, robbed four people at gunpoint in a single day has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Zajhun Travist James pleaded guilty on Monday to four counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection to the robberies that happened in 2016 in Beaufort County.
According to prosecutors, a trial was scheduled to begin Monday at the Beaufort County Courthouse, but James chose to enter a guilty plea instead.
"In one of these cases, the defendant stuck a gun in the man's face and asked if he was scared and ready to die," Assistant Solicitor Dustin Whetsel said. "When deputies found the gun used in these robberies, it was fully loaded and had a 30-round magazine. This could have easily gone a different way."
A report states James is the third and final defendant to be convicted in connection to the Oct. 16, 2016 armed robberies on County Shed and Joe Frazier roads in Burton.
"Maliek Lashon Bostick, 21, of Burton, pleaded guilty in September 2017 to armed robbery," prosecutors said."He was sentenced to 12 years in prison."
Authorities say the car's driver and James' 21-year-old girlfriend, Sharrin Reed, pleaded guilty in July 2017 to two counts of attempted armed robbery and received a four-year sentence.
According to investigators, the trio who were in a car, approached two men standing outside a home on County Shed Road.
"The victims told law enforcement that they saw a woman driving the car and that two men jumped out," prosecutors said."Armed with a handgun, the masked men stole cash and a cellphone. As the car was leaving, the victims saw part of the license plate number and report it to authorities."
A report states a short time later, a second armed robbery was reported on Joe Frazier Road.
"Again, the victims reported that two men – one wearing a black shirt and the other wearing a blue one - jumped out of a black Honda Accord," prosecutors said."This time, the victims were able to take down the car's full license plate number. Five minutes later, law enforcement surrounded the Honda."
Deputies reported finding a loaded .40-caliber Glock handgun, a 30-round magazine, the victims' wallets and $900 in cash.
Prosecutors said the two men inside matched the description given by each of the victims.
James' criminal record includes a 2014 assault and battery conviction.