Suspects in grocery shooting had criminal records - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: George Metaxas, 12/16/03, 9:43 p.m.

Suspects in grocery shooting had criminal records

His run from the law is over. Remeco Pennington, the accused "trigger man" in last week's officer shooting is behind bars in North Carolina. Police say Pennington and four others carried out the well-planned armed robbery at the Kroger on Winchester. We have new details about two of the suspects in custody. We knew that some of the suspects had criminal records. Action News Five has learned that two of them had warrants issued for probation violation, one issued as recently as two months before the bunch blew into the Kroger, guns blazing.

"This was... As far as I'm concerned... Urban terrorism." And that's why Shelby County prosecutor John Campbell says he will be pushing for the maximum sentence. In a matter of days - Federal Prosecutors may join him. That's because three of the five - charged with storming the Kroger and shooting off-duty Memphis Police officer Tim Brown - have criminal records, and were carrying guns.

Demond Robinson spent three years in jail after he pleaded guilty to criminal attempt second degree murder. Alfonzo Johnson has seen burglary and assault charges. Remeco Pennington - captured in North Carolina Tuesday - served three years of prison time in the nineties for cocaine possession. Campbell says their records weren't enough to keep them off the streets. John Campbell, Assistant District Attorney said, "You do your three years and get out and do something else, you can't say that the prosecutor's office was going light at you if you got what the system says you were supposed to get." But here's the catch. The system also put Johnson and Pennington on probation, and then found them guilty of violating their probation, Pennington, three years ago - and Johnson, two months ago. But neither has seen a courtroom since. "They were given the opportunity to serve their sentences in the community by the sentencing judge." The community may have seen the last of them when they fled the Kroger.

Shelby County charges could put them in jail for a maximum of 60 years. But federal charges - not yet filed - could close the book for good. "Under federal guidelines, some of these individuals could get up to life without parole and that is not something they could get in the state system."

Four of the five were already in court Tuesday for their arraignments. Pennington's still in North Carolina pending extradition. Police were clear there may be more arrests to follow. The police officer shot here at the Kroger, Tim Brown, is in good condition.

Powered by Frankly