CLEARFIELD – A Gifford man who robbed two local convenience stores pleaded guilty Tuesday.
Police say Tyler Jamal Newman, 19, held a gun on employees of the Sheetz store on the Clearfield Shawville Highway in Lawrence Township around midnight on Feb. 11 and at the Kwik Fill in Cooper Township a few minutes later in the early morning hours of Feb. 12.
Newman pleaded guilty to a total of four counts of robbery, and two counts each of terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person. President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced him to a total of four to eight years in state prison.
Ammerman noted that Newman is waiting to be sentenced on additional charges in other counties and for a robbery in Elk County.
Prior to sentencing, Newman apologized “for bringing crime to this county” and said he wanted the victims to know he was sorry.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Lawrence Township police were called to the Sheetz store at 11:55 p.m. on Feb. 11.
The victim was tending the cash register when a man, later identified as Newman, approached and put two items on the counter.
She rang both of the times up and then saw the man holding a handgun close against himself with the barrel of the gun on the counter.
He was staring at her and held out his left hand with the palm facing up. He made a beckoning hand gesture then told her to empty the register.
The victim replied “are you kidding me?” The man then stared at her, put his gun under his jacket and left the store.
At 12:05 a.m., state police were called to the Kwik Fill in Cooper Township for an armed robbery.
The victim at this store said that a man brandished what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun, pointed it at him and said “give me all the money in the resister. Don’t worry. I’m not going to shoot you. It’s nothing personal.”
The victim handed him the money, which was almost $300 in cash. Newman also asked for a pack of cigarettes and then said “not to be greedy, but give me a Bic lighter too.”
Newman fled the scene in a silver Nissan Xterra, possibly heading south onto State Route 53.
At about 12:58 a.m., police made contact with the vehicle at a truck stop in Snow Shoe. Newman, who matched the description given by the victims, was sitting in the car.
Inside the vehicle, which had been reported stolen from Ridgway, they found a silver and black BB gun and $286.
During an interview with police, Newman confessed to committing both robberies.
According to online court documents, Newman is scheduled to be sentenced on July 18 in McKean County in three different theft cases, two of which involve unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
In Elk County, he is charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, robbery, aggravated assault, theft, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats, possession of a weapon, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, all from Feb. 11. Court records indicate he has entered a plea on these charges.