A Philadelphia man, who was found guilty by a Carbon County jury in a paint ball incident during a robbery at the Walmart store in Mahoning Township, was sentenced to a long state prison term Tuesday.
Jamal Mitchell, 32, was sentenced to a total term of 48 to 96 months in a state correctional institution on charges of retail theft, criiminal conspiracy-to commit robbery in the third degree, and recklessly endangering another person.
Mitchell was convicted by a jury on Sept. 11 of the charges. The jury returned a split verdict that day finding him not guilty of robbery-serious bodily injury in the first degree, robbery-bodily injury in the second degree, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, and criminal conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree.
Mitchell was charged for his part in a robbery at the store that occurred during the early morning hours of Nov. 26, 2012. Township police were dispatched to the store for a report of a theft incident with shots fired.
Police said two cars were used in the incident with three persons in each car.
Charged along with Mitchell were Henry Andrew Clinton, his cousin, Sabree Hakeem Clinton, Nyra Mary Foster, and Donte Shaw. The two Clintons and Foster pleaded guilty and have been sentenced for their part in the robbery. Shaw has yet to be found.
Defense Attorney Brian Collins, who was court-appointed, asked Serfass to consider that his client was found not guilty of the more serious charges.
However, District Attorney Gary F. Dobias, who prosecuted the case, said although Mitchell didn't hurt anyone and the gun and shots fired were from a paint ball gun, the incident was not a random one. He said Mitchell and his accompalices planned the robbery and drove from Philadelphia to commit it. When they flashed the paint ball gun, store employees didn't know what type of gun it was initially.
Dobias, noting Mitchell has 22 prior criminal convictions, said, "He has made a living being a thief. Take him off the streets for a long time."
Serfass imposed a state prison term of 18 to 36 months on the retail theft, 18 to 36 months on the conspiracy count, and 12 to 24 months on the recklessly endangering, running them all consecutively.
He also ordered Mitchell, when paroled, to perform 400 hours of community service, and supply a DNA sample.
Mitchell is currently in the Delaware County prison on a probation violation charge.