Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco jury convicts man in convenience store robbery

NEW PORT RICHEY — When the jury said he was guilty, 32-year-old Morgan Armstrong hung his head. He said nothing.

Armstrong could face life in prison for the October 2009 robbery of Beverages Plus on State Road 52 in Hudson. The jury deliberated for less than an hour Thursday before finding Armstrong guilty of robbery with a deadly weapon. He will be sentenced Nov. 15. The minimum sentence is 51/2 years.

Armstrong represented himself in court, though he's asked his stand-in attorney, Geoff Cox, to represent him during his sentencing hearing, Cox said Thursday.

Armstrong "was obviously disappointed" in the jury's verdict, Cox said. "He was quiet and reserved."

Cox said the victim in the robbery, Falguni Patel, finished her testimony Thursday after fainting while on the stand Wednesday. A family member waved a sneaker underneath Patel's nose in an attempt to revive her, telling the courtroom this happens often. Patel was wheeled out of the courtroom on a stretcher.

She was nervous Thursday, but made it through her testimony without fainting, Cox said.

Patel said she knew it was Armstrong who robbed her at knifepoint because she recognized his eyes and voice. The robber wore a mask.

Armstrong allegedly robbed the same store twice in 2009 before he was caught. He goes to trial Sept. 19 for the second robbery, which was also at knifepoint. He is also charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and faces a second maximum sentence of life in prison.

He plans to represent himself in court.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229.

Pasco jury convicts man in convenience store robbery 09/08/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2011 9:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  2. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  3. Clearwater police: Car thief dead after owner fires gun

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — One man is dead after the owner of a car fired shots at the thieves who were stealing it Monday night, police said.

  4. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive

    World

    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  5. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.