A Chesapeake man was sentenced last week to 29 years in prison for his role in a series of armed robberies of 7-Eleven establishments in the cities of Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Deric Simons, 23, and his co-conspirator Ronald Lee Brookins, Jr., 22, of Suffolk, and a third individual killed during the spree, conducted a series of armed robberies at 7-Eleven convenience stores starting just before midnight on July 24, 2019, and into the early morning hours of July 25, 2019, according to court documents.
Beginning at a store in Newport News, the three men entered the stores armed with a firearm, a knife and a BB gun that resembled a real firearm. While brandishing their weapons, they demanded U.S. currency and commercial products from employees.
After leaving Newport News, the three conspirators committed four additional robberies, moving between locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
During the fifth and final robbery, Brookins and the third co-conspirator entered the convenience store while Simons remained in the getaway vehicle. In addition to the store employee, there were three customers inside the store at the time of the robbery. Brookins and the third co-conspirator brandished the BB gun and the loaded firearm at the employee and customers. As Brookins began to empty the register, an armed customer, fearing for everyone’s safety, discharged his personal weapon, injuring Brookins and killing the third co-conspirator.
In June, Brookins was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the robberies.