A jury found Bryant Turner guilty on Thursday of aggravated robbery and theft of property and sentenced Turner to life in prison, plus 55 years.
Due to Turner’s prior conviction of two counts of terroristic acts, the defendant received an automatic sentence of life in prison for the aggravated robbery conviction.
Turner received a 25-year sentence for theft of property, and two 15-year sentences for two counts of employing a firearm to commit the aggravated robbery and theft of property.
Judge Charles E. Clawson ruled that the 15-year sentence for employing a firearm while committing aggravated robbery would be served in concurrence with the life sentence, while the 15-year sentence for employing a firearm while committing theft of property would be served consecutively.
Turner, 26, of Conway, was found guilty of charges stemming from the Aug. 27 robbery of Game Point, a video game store located at 2585 Donaghey Ave. Suite 111.
Jurors heard the testimony of several Conway police officers involved in the case, the store owner, two employees working during the robbery and three employees from the State Crime Lab.
During testimony, it was revealed by Maddison Harrell, a DNA examiner for the State Crime Lab, that Turner’s DNA was found on a mouthwash bottle that was left in a bag at the store.
Turner’s attorney, deputy public defender Karen Walker Knight, argued that it was not known how Turner’s DNA ended up on the mouthwash bottle.
Knight also pointed out to the jury that neither Turner’s fingerprints nor his DNA were found on other items that were sent to the State Crime Lab.
Former Game Point employees Taylor Mitchell and Austin Casher, who were working the night of the robbery, testified that Turner told them to “remember me, because I let you live.”
The statement was repeated by deputy prosecuting attorneys Troy Braswell and Lucas Ferguson.
The prosecution showed several photos and footage from store surveillance video from the night of the robbery to the jury of 10 women and two men.
Mitchell and Casher both testified that Turner entered the store, and wandered around for an extended period of time until all other customers left.
Mitchell said Turner then came to the checkout counter with three game cases, and said he had a credit slip to retrieve from his bag.
“The next thing he came up with a gun,” Mitchell testified.
Mitchell said Turner then told them to get on the ground, as he went through all cash registers.
Store owner Craig New testified that approximately $1,200 was stolen in the robbery, along with various video games.
Knight argued that Mitchell and Casher originally identified a suspect from a photo spread put together by police that was not Turner.
Turner, who was identified by both employees in a second photo spread presented to them two days after the robbery, was not included in the first photo spread, according to court testimony.
Knight also argued that officers initially identified a suspect other than Turner based on the initial description after the robbery.
Following closing statements from the defense and prosecution, the jury deliberated less than 30 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.
Turner was also scheduled Thursday for a pre-trial hearing for a robbery that occurred July 5 at the Gulf gas station at 1655 Dave Ward Drive.
Turner faces charges of aggravated robbery, possession of a firearm and theft of property.
Judge Clawson reset the pre-trial hearing for July 23 at 9 a.m.
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)