Spartanburg pair get 45, 20 years in prison for armed robbery - FOX Carolina 21

Spartanburg pair get 45, 20 years in prison for armed robbery

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From left to right: James Johnson Jr. and Jalek Miller (Spartanburg Public Safety Dept.) From left to right: James Johnson Jr. and Jalek Miller (Spartanburg Public Safety Dept.)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Two men admitted in court this week that they robbed a Spartanburg Family Dollar store at gunpoint then led police on a chase before crashing into a house in July.

Solicitor Barry Barnette said James Johnson, 27, pleaded guilty to three counts of armed robbery, two counts of attempted armed robbery, four counts of kidnapping, possession of a stolen weapon, and failure to stop for police while Jalek Miller, 22, pleaded guilty to three counts of armed robbery, two counts of attempted armed robbery and possession of a stolen weapon.

Johnson and Miller were accused of entering the East Main Street store on July 12 wearing masks and carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and a pistol while customers, including an 11-year-old, were inside.

Police said the men forced an employee to open the safe, took the cash and cell phones of some of the customers, before fleeing out of the back of the store.

SLIDESHOW: Suspects ram into cop car, house

Police tried to block the men with their patrol cars, but they rammed their getaway car into them and sped off leading officers on a chase that eventually ended when the men crashed into a home on Farley Avenue. The two were immediately arrested.

"The officers' quick response to the incident location was excellent and deserves a lot of credit for resolving this case without anyone getting hurt," Assistant Solicitor Timi Poulos said. "These senseless acts of violence cannot be tolerated."

Johnson's prior criminal record included a 2008 conviction for attempted armed robbery while Miller's included a 2011 conviction for driving under suspension.

Circuit Judge J. Derham Cole issued a 30-year prison sentence to Johnson that was consecutive to a 15-year sentence he received on a probation violation, and he issued a 20-year sentence to Miller.

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