The News & Record
South Boston News & Record
and Mecklenburg Sun
Home   •   News   •   Sports   •   Classifieds   •   Community   •   Health   •   Entertainment   •   Obituaries   •   Opinions   •   Weather
Advertising | Contact | Register
Advanced Search
News

Halifax County IDA expands lease with RTP at old Daystrom site

Halifax County trustees revamp policy on paid leave for isolating staff, ink deal for land

South Boston Christmas Parade returns Dec. 4 with superhero theme


Sports

GW ends Comets’ undefeated season

Now 5-1, varsity set to play Patrick after 34-16 loss Saturday

Community


Opinion


A&E

News

Woman gets two years active time in Liberty Mini Mart robbery

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
A surveillance camera image of the masked armed robber at Liberty Mini Mart on Oct. 6, 2020; above Braelyn Martin.
SoVaNow.com / October 11, 2021
One of the three assailants in an Oct. 6, 2020 armed robbery of Liberty Mini Mart was given 31 years in prison, with all but two years active time suspended, in a sentencing hearing Thursday in Halifax County Circuit Court.

Braelyn Macy Martin, who pleaded guilty to statutory burglary in July, entered the Liberty convenience store armed with a shotgun and wearing a mask as she demanded cash from the store clerk, in a theft that netted some $500. She and two others, Marctavia Dunkley and Kayleigh Desmond, were charged in the incident.

The prosecutions of Desmond, a store clerk at Liberty Mini Mart, and Dunkley remain active. They have been charged with participating in the robbery — with Desmond accused of helping to hatch the scheme, and Dunkley acting as the getaway driver.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Quackenbush Martin told the court that the crime left customers of Liberty Mini Mart shaken and afraid to go into the store, a popular gathering spot in the Liberty community. The market caters to people who enjoy the convenience of grabbing milk, bread, and other groceries at a location near home. Folks gather daily at the picnic tables outside the mini-mart for conversation, Martin said.

The robbery cast a pall over the store and the Liberty community, she said.

“This was a scheme, and this scheme was well-planned,” said Martin. Under different circumstances, she added, it could have resulted in injury or death to others. At the time of the robbery it was fortunate that only two other people were inside the store. No one was harmed.

“She armed herself, she masked herself, she could have been shot or hurt someone,” Martin said..

Braelyn Martin’s defense attorney, Michael Trent, depicted the defendant as someone who is ready to turn her life around after committing a series of low-level criminal offenses and hitting rock bottom due to drug and alcohol addiction. Martin’s prior arrests were for shoplifting in 2019, carrying a concealed weapon in 2018 and petty larceny as a juvenile. She also has been charged with a number of traffic violations.

At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Trent called Brittany Fallen to the stand to testify on behalf of her sister. Fallen said her sister has led a difficult life for the past four years due to her brother being in a horrible car crash and another dear friend who overdosed.

“The combo had a huge effect on her,” said Fallen.

Fallen said she talks several times a day with her sister, who has been in jail since her arrest in late October 2020, and believes she is ready to live a life on the right path.

Trent added that Martin has successfully completed several programs while in jail, including bible study and substance abuse recovery, and is determined to gain a job once she is released from prison.

“The young lady understands how dangerous it was — she accepts her responsibility, she has a place to live when released and is seeking employment. I think she is a risk worth taking,” said Trent.

Tracy Martin, the commonwealth’s attorney, said she sees the offender as someone who is smart and expresses “details about herself that make her sympathetic to the court, and I’m not taking away her life was full of difficulties — she knows how to talk about it in detail, but it’s difficult for me to think she did not think of the ramifications of the risk.

“All of those moments: the drive, putting on the mask, and to keep on going — she’s the person who made those decisions,” said Martin.

Circuit Judge Kimberley S. White offered the defendant an opportunity to share anything with the court.

Martin read from prepared remarks expressing that it took seven to eight months of sitting in jail to realize she wanted to change her lifestyle. Apologizing to the community and to her family, Martin blamed her actions on a compulsive behavior fueled by alcohol and drug use.

“You appear to have good insight on the pain you have caused to those around you, however, you are not new to the justice system — and now you have committed one of the most serious crimes we have,” said White.

She imposed a total sentence of 20 years on a charge of armed larceny, with 18 years suspended, on the condition that Martin completes two years’ supervised probation upon her release, submits to mental and substance abuse counseling and remains drug-free. White also imposed a 10-year sentence on a second larceny charge.

Martin also received a year in prison, with all active time suspended, for wearing a mask during the crime. White ordered her to be of good behavior for 30 years after her release from prison.

The judge thanked Martin’s family for attending the sentencing hearing to show their support for the defendant.

“She will need you when she gets out,” said White.



Tell-a-Friend | Submit a Comment

27

Comments

That’s it? 2 years for sticking a shotgun in the clerk’s face?

Comments

Granted the clerk was in on it.


Sports Coverage

See complete sports coverage for Halifax and Mecklenburg counties.