By Associated Press - Sunday, April 12, 2020

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A man who prosecutors said robbed at least three stores at gunpoint and fired at a South Carolina trooper trying to arrest him was sentenced to 24 years in prison in a hearing held outside a federal courtroom because of COVID-19.

D’Angelo Antonio Coakley was one of four people involved in a robbery ring that held up a Dollar General Store in Awendaw, a Verizon Store in Summerville, and a Verizon Store in Waxhaw, North Carolina, in 2107, U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy Jr. said.

After the North Carolina robbery, police tracked the men into South Carolina and they fired at state troopers trying to pull them over, McCoy said.

The troopers were not hit and managed to force the car to crash and arrest the men after they ran, McCoy said in a statement.

Friday’s sentencing hearing for Coakley, 30, was held on a teleconference because of the coronavirus.

“It’s important for those who choose to commit crimes to know that even in the pandemic the U.S. Attorney’s Office is open for business,” McCoy said. “We will hold those who break the law accountable.”

Two other defendants are serving prison time. Paul Anthony Walker, 24, was sentenced to 10 years and Malik Juwan Gadist, 23, is serving 15 years, prosecutors said.

Julius Hamilton Washington, 29, is awaiting sentencing, McCoy said.

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