Raleigh man gets 21 years in prison for armed robbery spree
Posted November 19, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh man who pleaded guilty in January to robbing several people on a crime spree last year in Wake County was sentenced Wednesday to 21 to 30 years in prison.
Walter Kevin Johnson, 30, of 6124 Briarwood Court, was charged with more than two dozen crimes that happened between Sept. 22 and Oct. 8, 2013, in Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs and Wake Forest. The charges included nine counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
In several of the robberies, Johnson approached his victims and used a handgun to rob them of money and personal belongings. Authorities say he also forced some of them to drive to ATMs to withdraw cash.
Raleigh police arrested Johnson during a traffic stop on Oct. 11, 2013, after a woman called 911 with suspicions that her husband might have been involved in the crimes, which were widely reported in the news.
Johnson apologized at his sentencing Wednesday and asked the court for mercy.
"I take full responsibility for the crimes I have committed, and I hope to bring some type of closure to the victims," he said. "The victims in this case are good people, and I invaded their lives with utter disregard. Please forgive me."
Matt Faucette, Johnson's attorney, said in January that his client had recently become a new father and had been struggling financially at the time of the robbery spree.
"I made all the wrong choices for all the right reasons," Johnson said Wednesday. "Out of sheer panic and desperation, I failed miserably. I didn't mean what I did, and I'd do anything to take it all back."
Several victims were in the courtroom Wednesday, and they all asked Superior Court Judge Eileen Bushfan to give Johnson the maximum sentence of nearly 160 years.
Once victim told the court that she was forced to move, buy a new a car and change banks after Johnson robbed her on Sept. 22, 2013.
"I had to break my lease. I no longer live alone. I don't like driving at night, and I won't walk to my car alone – one year later," she said. "I'm not the one who committed the crime, but I'm the one who had to pay. I lost my independence, I lost my security, and I lost my confidence. I ask this court to take away his independence."
Another woman, who was robbed at gunpoint in her home, said she was nervous to be in the same room with him.
"I will never be the same person. I was afraid to leave my home, and my husband and I slept with a loaded gun," she said. "We had a few cameras and lights on our home before this. Now, we have 14 cameras and lights, a German shepherd guard dog, and I'm in the process of getting a concealed carry permit."
She continued: "I hope Walter Johnson is truly sorry for the terrible crimes he has committed, but it doesn't change what he's done to us."