A Chester man was sentenced to 35 years in prison after a jury convicted him of a gunpoint robbery and kidnapping of a preacher’s wife outside a church Bible study.
Jerrell Trovase Brockman was convicted by the jury after less than 40 minutes of deliberation despite saying on the witness stand that he ran from police because he had $700 worth of crack cocaine on him at the time, 6th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Candice Lively said.
Brockman, 30, was convicted of armed robbery, kidnapping and assault in the attack on the wife of a minister outside Chester’s First Baptist Church in November 2017, said 6th Circuit Solicitor Randy Newman.
The woman’s purse had $19, the prosecutors said.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“Chester is a safer place with this defendant in prison,” said Lively, who was lead prosecutor in the two-day trial. “This defendant was a menace to the public. The victim in this case was truly heroic in facing her attacker.”
The woman’s purse was stolen when Brockman put a gun to her head, prosecutors said. Brockman then ran, and Chester Police Department officers chased him on foot, prosecutors said.
Brockman was caught about a mile away after a search by several local and state police agencies using a K-9 team that led directly to him, Lively said.
Brockman testified during the trial that he was elsewhere at the time of the crime and he ran from police because he had drugs, prosecutors said.
Brockman’s DNA was found on the woman’s purse, prosecutors said in court.
Brockman said his DNA was on the purse because he stole it from the car of another person who owed him money, prosecutors said.
Brockman has past convictions for possession of cocaine and marijuana, assault and battery, criminal domestic violence, weapons, receiving stolen goods and obtaining property under false pretense, according to prosecutors and court records.
“This community is safer after this verdict by this Chester County jury,” Lively said.
6th Circuit Deputy Public Defender William Frick, Brockman’s lawyer, said after the trial that Brockman maintains his innocence and plans to appeal.