One of three men accused of robbing Walgreens at gunpoint last year before leading police on a pursuit pleaded guilty Friday and received a 25-year sentence.
Janarious Jerod Gipson, 20, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty late Friday to an aggravated robbery charge and 415th District Judge Graham Quisenberry sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
Gipson and Isiah Demarcus Roberts, along with a then-16-year-old male, were charged with robbing the South Main Street pharmacy at gunpoint early on the morning of Aug. 22, 2011, taking cash and medication.
According to police, employees said two men entered the store brandishing a handgun and demanded prescription drugs from the pharmacy.
An undetermined amount of cash was also reportedly taken from a safe and a front register, according to police.
A witness, Richard Bovio, told the Democrat that he went in the store for cigarettes around 4:30 a.m. and waited because there was no employee at the counter when two men came running around the corner.
The men were dressed in long sleeves, ball caps and were wearing white masks. One carried a bag of pills while the other had a bag of money.
The men ran toward the door, but one man dropped the bag of money and tried to pick it up as the other man yelled at him to leave it and come on, according to Bovio.
The man ended up leaving rolls of change and a $10 bill by the door, he said.
The men fled in a vehicle, leading police in a short pursuit to a neighborhood off Clear Lake Road before they left the damaged vehicle on foot, police reported.
Police said they believed the car’s axle broke, possibly when it took a curve or bottomed out while traveling at a high rate of speed.
A large amount of cash, several bottles of promethazine hydrochloride codeine phosphate and a handgun believed to have been used in the robbery were recovered during a search of the suspect vehicle, police reported.
After several sightings by neighbors in the subdivision and an intense manhunt lasting for several hours, all three were located and arrested.
Because Quisenberry found that Gipson used or exhibited a firearm during the robbery, Gipson will have to serve a minimum of 12 and a half years before he becomes eligible for parole review, Assistant District Attorney Robert DuBoise said.
A trial is scheduled for Sept. 17 for the other two defendants.