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Two convicted of armed robbery in Columbus County

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two armed robbers are heading to prison after trials last week in Columbus County.

One of the men robbed a Vietnam veteran confined to a wheelchair outside a Lake Waccamaw assisted living facility. Ricky Mitchell will spend up to seven years in prison for armed robbery with a dangerous weapon and other crimes. Prosecutors say the elderly man he robbed was wheelchair bound after a stroke.

Also, a jury convicted Lawrence Smith, who will spend 20 years behind bars. Smith is responsible for a string of convenience store robberies dating back to 2011.

“After they have been convicted of a similar charge, it’s clear to us that, you know, to be able to present that evidence to show the court they did not learn their lesson,” Assistant District Attorney Fred Gore said. “Because of that we ask for the most time we can to get justice for the systems.”

Gore says the District Attorney’s office is doing everything in its power to keep habitual criminals off the streets.

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