L: Jason Stevens and Leonard Sprauve
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Jason Stevens and Leonard Sprauve were today, July 24, sentenced to 15 years in prison for their involvement in the January 21, 2011 MoneyGram armed robbery.
On June 7, the men pleaded guilty to armed robbery and possession of firearm with intent to endanger a life.
This morning, Justice Albert Redhead sentenced them to 15 years in prison for the robbery charge and 10 years in prison for the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger a life. The sentences will run concurrently and their time on remand [from 2011] will be taken into account.
Justice Redhead in handing down his sentence said they had callous disregard for the life and safety of others. He said a man was shot and the court must send a message that persons cannot act in that manner in society and expect to get away with it.
He noted that there was also careful planning.
The Judge said he also took into account the fact that they are young and their guilty plea.
Prosecutor Valston Graham said following his arrest, Sprauve told Police that Stevens and him were approached by Rodney Simmonds Jr. to do the robbery and the drop.
Graham said Sprauve told Police that Stevens and him were the gunmen on the afternoon of the robbery and they were the ones who fired shots. At this point, the Judge interjected and stated that during the trial of Simmonds Jr., he had no doubt that Simmonds Jr. was the mastermind, but the jurors found him not guilty. Graham then stated that he differs with the jurors' verdict; however, he respects it because they are the soldiers of the facts.
In the social inquiry report, Sprauve stated that immediately after he was told of the plan, he thought it was easy and he would get a lot of money since he was unemployed, had a son to take care of and his sister was in trouble. However, he said on the day of the robbery, he had second thoughts, but did not want his friend to think he was a punk; hence, he went through with it.
He lamented that now he is away from his son and in jail, but has not seen a dime from the monies stolen.
Sprauve also mentioned that his father usually warns him about the friends he keep.
Stevens was represented by Richard Rowe and Sprauve by Patrick Thompson.
Three other men were charged in connection with the robbery and following a trial, jurors unanimously found Rodney Simmonds Jr. and Mikhael Howe not guilty on June 25. During the trial, the charges against Michael Stevens were dismissed. This was following an application by his lawyer Akilah Anderson.
According to Police, two masked men with handguns approached an employee, Carson Lewis, outside MoneyGram and took the bag he was carrying which included the day's earnings ($190,500). The employee received a gunshot wound to his left leg during the incident.
Police stated that the assailants were wearing black clothing with masks over their faces. Prior to fleeing the scene, the robbers fired shots indiscriminately.
The stolen monies were not recovered.