Local News

Man admits to robbing Fayetteville liquor store

Posted January 28, 2011 7:30 a.m. EST

— A 25-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he robbed a liquor store in Fayetteville last January, federal prosecutors said.

Joel Matthew Covington pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery – a federal charge that applies to crimes affecting interstate commerce – and to the use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Investigators said that Covington went to the Cumberland County Alcohol Beverage Control store on Person Street on Jan. 15, 2010. Prosecutors said that after waiting in line, he pulled out a handgun, stole $389 from the cashier and threatened to "blow all of your heads off" if anyone followed him.

Covington will be sentenced in April. He faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Covington's criminal record in North Carolina dates to 2003 and includes multiple breaking-and-entering and larceny convictions, according to state Department of Correction records.