Gulfport man sentenced to 30 years for armed robbery

Gulfport man sentenced to 30 years for armed robbery

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A 23-year-old Gulfport, Mississippi man, Sterling Jules, has been sentenced to prison for his role in a 2014 armed robbery.

According to police, on June 21, 2014 two victims were robbed at gunpoint in the Wal-Mart parking lot of Highway 49 in Gulfport, shortly before 11 p.m. A male victim told police that an unknown robber held him at gunpoint, and demanded his wallet and a friend's purse. Once he obtained the items, the suspect fled the scene in a "uniquely styled station wagon".

Nearly four hours after the incident, the suspect's vehicle was stopped by a Gulfport police officer. A pistol matching the description of the one used in the robbery was found in the car. A couple of days following the robbery, the victim's purse was found in Biloxi containing all of her items, and the driver's license of Jules' wife.

A two-day jury trial began on July 14, 2015 for two counts of armed robbery. After the victims testified and identified Jules, the defendant decided to plead guilty instead of continue with the trial.

"The defendant told the court that he and his wife had recently moved to Gulfport and he had lost most of their money at the casino, which led him to commit the robbery," said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell.

A pre-sentence report included two prior felony convictions in West Virgina, and multiple inmate rule violations in Harrison County; including assaulting a corrections officers.

Jules was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with 15 years suspended. Jules will be required to serve the sentence day for day, without parole.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.