A man accused of robbing a Graham convenience store and trying to flee police by driving in reverse has been sentenced.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend sentenced 29-year-old Anthony Hayes to two years, two months in prison Feb. 3. Hayes pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and second-degree assault as part of negotiations with prosecutors.
According to charging papers, Hayes, while wearing a mask, carried a shotgun into the store at 19921 Meridian E. on Sept. 25 and told the clerk to lock the door papers.
He then took money, lottery tickets and cigarettes, and tried to flee officers by driving in reverse for about seven blocks. The officers forced his vehicle into a ditch, and he was arrested.
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Loved ones of Hayes and a former employer wrote the court to say Hayes had worked hard to care for his children, and that he struggled when his wife left him and when his landscaping business began to fail.
“I was greatly saddened to find that Anthony turned to drugs in his time of need and not his family, but knowing Anthony as I do, I am confident with the proper help and support that we can get the hard working, happy, good father back,” family friend Penny Moskwa wrote.
The clerk who was the victim of the heist also wrote the court. She said she had specifically requested the graveyard shift so she could spend more time with her son.
“... until now I was never this afraid to work alone during graveyard hours,” the clerk wrote.