By WECT Staff | January 29, 2021 at 12:51 PM EST – Updated January 29 at 12:52 PM
PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – A Wilmington man will spend at least six years in prison after he was convicted of robbing a Pender County truck stop at gunpoint back in 2019.
Jonathan Omar Kelly, 28, was found guilty by a Pender County jury on Thursday of two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and given a 6 to 8.25 year prison sentence.
On Oct. 14, 2019, Kelly entered the Phoenix Travel Center, located on N.C. 210 near Interstate 40 in Rocky Point, and pulled a gun on two store clerks, demanding they empty the store’s three registers. After receiving $1,334 in cash, Kelly took off on foot. Prosecutors say the whole incident was caught on security cameras.
Several eyewitnesses chased Kelly toward I-40 as he was trying to make his way to a getaway car that was parked at an exit ramp. The good Samaritans lost Kelly as he ran down an interstate embankment. One of the eyewitnesses tried to block the car from taking off, but was unsuccessful.
Pender County deputies later found Kelly walking down N.C. 117, about five miles from the Phoenix Travel Center. He was wearing some of the same clothing he wore during the robbery and had $736 in cash, some of which was bundled similar to how it was at the store.
Prosecutors said this was the first jury trial in Pender County since the beginning of the pandemic.
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