Memphis man sentenced in 2009 jewelry store robbery - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Memphis man sentenced in 2009 jewelry store robbery


A man was sentenced to life in prison in connection to a robbery at a Cape Girardeau jewelry store in 2009.

Darryl House, 30, was sentenced on one felony count of aiding and abetting the interference with commerce by threat or violence.

He also received a consecutive 84 month sentence for possession of a gun in furtherance of a crime of violence.

After a three-day jury trial, a federal jury found House guilty on April 7 of participating in the armed robbery of Jayson Jewelers in Cape Girardeau on Sept. 23, 2009.

House appeared before U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr.

The trial testimony established that House and three co-defendants, Kevin Stitt; Charla Dinkins and Keyessence Fountain, planned the robbery in Memphis, Tenn., then traveled to Cape Girardeau to commit the robbery.

Stitt and Fountain entered the store, posing as a couple looking for wedding rings. When the sales clerk was helping them, House entered the store armed with a handgun.

Stitt handcuffed the store clerk and took her to a back room. House, Stitt and Fountain then took $90,000 worth of jewelry and cash from the store.

All four then returned to Memphis.

No suspects were developed during the initial investigation; however, the handcuffs were submitted to the Missouri State Highway Patrol lab for DNA analysis.

Nearly three years later, on May 21, 2012, the Cape Girardeau Police Department received a report from the lab that DNA was recovered from the handcuffs used to secure the sales clerk. The DNA matched Kevin Stitt, who had recently been taken to the Tennessee state prison on a probation violation charge.

That discovery led to the identities of the other suspects.

Dinkins, Stitt and Fountain previously pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in the robbery.

House was sentenced under what is often referred to as the "three strikes law," a federal statute mandating a sentence of life imprisonment for any defendant convicted of a serious violent felony who has been convicted of serious violent felonies on two prior separate occasions.

He had previous violent felony convictions for aggravated robbery in Tennessee in 2000 and in Illinois in 2006.

This case was investigated by the Cape Girardeau Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith D. Sorrell handled the prosecution for the government.

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