The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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October 5, 2013

King’s robber gets 15 years in prison

HERMITAGE — The mastermind behind a robbery at a Hermitage jewelry store that paralyzed the city’s central business district for several hours in July 2012 was sentenced Friday to 15 to 30 years in prison.

“Based on your conduct in the past, you appear to be a danger to the community,” Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert G. Yeatts told Terrance L. Jackson, 41, of Columbus, Ohio. “You’ve been involved in violent robberies in the past, been to prison, and didn’t learn your lesson.”

Jackson pleaded guilty July 8 to a charge of robbery. He and Anthony D. Jacobs, 24, also of Columbus, entered King’s Jewelry in the Shenango Valley Mall at about lunchtime July 9, 2012, and talked to different employees, police said. Jacobs pulled up his shirt, revealing a handgun, and Jackson jumped a counter, pulled a crowbar from his sleeve and jimmied open a display case.

They stole $75,564 worth of jewelry.

They then ran out of the mall, passing by the stolen car they had used to get there, crossed East State Street and entered Hermitage Square Plaza, police said. Jacobs was arrested in a Dumpster at Bob Evans Restaurant and Jackson in Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grille, where he had holed up in a bathroom, police said.

Jacobs was sentenced in June to 6 to 20 years in prison on the same charge.

Jackson had served state time in Ohio and in a federal prison for robberies with weapons.

He said he had essentially been in prison since he was 24. When he got out the last time, the world had changed, he said.

He discovered technology, wanted things and got in with the wrong crowd, he said.

On top of that, he sufferd from bipolar disorder and other mental health issues.

“I was seeking mental health help before I came down here,” he said.

It was Jackson’s idea to come to the Shenango Valley and rob King’s.

“I’m not blaming anybody for what I did,” he said. “It’s a choice that I made at the time.”

Jackson apologized for terrorizing the employees.

“I understand mental illness,” Yeatts said. “But, I also understand you made decisions.”

There were many people in and around the Shenango Valley Mall at the time of the robbery, and Jackson and Jacobs ran across a parking lot and a busy street to another shopping plaza and two restaurants entertaining lunch customers, Yeatts said.

“There were all kinds of people at risk,” he said. “The effect on the community was great.”

Yeatts gave Jackson credit for 453 days he has spent in jail, and assessed him a half share of the value of the stolen jewelry as restitution.

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