GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Robert Thomas, 45, of Gulfport, was sentenced to 30 years after he pled guilty to two counts of Armed Robbery Tuesday. The Circuit Court judge suspended 15 years of the sentence. Thomas is to serve the remaining 15 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 5 years of post-release supervision.
On September 1, 2017, the Gulfport Police Department received a report from two Subway employees advising that they had been robbed at gunpoint. Officers responded to the Subway at 2328 25th Avenue and spoke to the employees. Police say both employees said the suspect came into the restaurant, pointed a gun at them, stole approximately $500 from the register, and fled on foot. Police say three days after the robbery, Thomas walked into the Gulfport Police Department and confessed to the armed robbery. According to police, Thomas told them he had stolen a BB gun from the Wal-Mart in Biloxi and decided to commit a violent crime because he wanted to go back to prison. After his arrest, police discovered Thomas had been released from prison about three months prior to the armed robbery.
"In determining his sentence, Judge Dodson reviewed the defendant's life expectancy, his willingness to accept responsibility for his actions, and his criminal history, including four prior convictions," said Assistant DA Matthew Burrell who prosecuted the case on behalf of the District Attorney's office.
At his plea, Thomas apologized to the Court for his actions and advised he was high on crack cocaine when he committed his crime.