PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield man was sentenced to up to 15 years in state prison on Monday after a Berkshire Superior Court Jury found him guilty of three counts of armed robbery.
Raheem B. Garrett shook his head back and forth as the verdict of the eight-man and four-woman jury was read aloud in court. Monday was Garrett's 28th birthday.
While the jury found Garrett not guilty of seven other counts related to several other robberies or attempted robberies in Pittsfield in the late summer and fall of 2011, he was sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison for three guilty verdicts of armed robbery while masked.
Garrett was accused of a string of armed robberies of several city convenience stores, a Dunkin' Donuts and a Domino's pizzeria between August and November 2011. He was found guilty of robbing the Convenience Plus on Dalton Avenue in October 2011 and the Domino's Pizza on Elm Street twice, once in September and again in November 2011.
"I became jumpy and lost my trust in people [after the robberies]," 21-year-old Luke Coviello told Judge John A. Agostini on Monday. Coviello was the assistant manager of the Domino's Pizza on Elm Street last year and was working on both nights the store was robbed.
Coviello testified for the prosecution during the week-long trial.
Garrett's codefendant and former girlfriend, 22-year-old Laura Methe, also took the stand against Garrett and told the jury of the couple's alleged crime spree. Besides Methe's testimony, Garrett's DNA was found on a mask he discarded.
Garrett's attorney, Thomas J. Donohue, has said that none of the robbery victims ever positively identified his client and that Methe's testimony wasn't credible since she was only looking for a plea deal. She is facing similar charges.
The jury deliberated for about 61 2 hours over a two-day period before reaching its verdict.
First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello asked that Garrett be sentenced to between 18 and 25 years in prison. Donohue, citing Garrett's minimal record, asked for between five and 71 2 years for his client.
Agostini ordered Garrett to serve at least 10 years and no more than 15 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Garrett has already served more than a year awaiting the outcome of his case.
The Pittsfield Police investigated the crimes.
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