YORK — Two men accused of breaking into a Rock Hill customs shop two years ago, assaulting the business owner and an employee, tying them up in a bathroom and then fleeing with several thousand dollars will spend the next 30 years behind bars.
A jury on Friday found Marquis Santonia Robinson, 30, and Dantonyo Andropulis Heath, 31, guilty of armed robbery, criminal conspiracy and assault and battery, said Misti Shelton, assistant solicitor with the York County Solicitor’s Office. Robinson was also convicted of kidnapping and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Heath was also convicted of strong arm robbery because he did not use a gun, “only his fists,” Shelton said.
At about 10:40 p.m. on June 8, 2011, two men broke into Five-Star Customs on Cherry Road while the owner and an employee were inside, police said. The manager recognized one of the men as Robinson, an acquaintance, Shelton said.
That’s when Robinson grabbed the man by his shirt, dragged him into a bathroom and placed a gun to his head, she said. A struggle ensued, during which the gun went off and and a bullet lodged in the wall. Meanwhile, Heath hit the employee from behind and beat and choked him for the next eight minutes.
The robbers then tied both men in the bathroom before the owner told them he had money in his car, Shelton said. Heath and Robinson forced the owner outside to his car and took about $10,000 he planned to deposit in the bank. They also took about $1,100 from the employee, who they left in the bathroom.
While the robbers were outside with the owner, the employee’s wife arrived at the business after picking up food for her husband, Shelton said. The employee, thinking the robbers were still outside, managed to open a ceiling tile and “lifted her up and pushed her in the ceiling,” she said.
“He tried to climb up but fell out,” she said. The owner returned inside the business and reported that Robinson and Heath were gone.
The victims, who testified in court last week, separately identified Robinson from a photo lineup. The owner managed to give police Heath’s identity after listening to Robinson call his partner “Yodi,” Heath’s nickname, Shelton said.
Robinson and Heath did not take the stand during the trial, Shelton said.