By Linda Cicoira — Antonio Lamar Harmon used a sawed-off shotgun to rob a clerk of $40 at the Painter Corner Mart on Lankford Highway in 2018. A customer, who had gone inside the store to retrieve a gas receipt, was injured when Harmon struck him before fleeing.
Wednesday, Judge W. Revell Lewis sentenced Harmon, 37, of Mini Road in Tasley, to a total of 53 years and nine months in prison for the crimes. With suspended time, he was set to serve 17 years and nine months. He could have been fined up to $602,500 and been sentenced to two life terms plus 23 years.
“He hadn’t been out of prison very long before this,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Fultz. Probation hasn’t been able to get him to change his ways. … Mr. Harmon is just a threat to the community. … He admitted that he had intended to kill both the clerk and the customer. He decided not to at the last minute. He might not do so the next time.”
The incident occurred at about 11:30 p.m., March 28, 2018. According to court records, the injured man was Lawrence Levinson. He was treated on the scene by Painter Emergency Medical Services. The name of the clerk was not disclosed.
“This is clearly a mental health case,” said Defense lawyer Garrett Dunham. “He was literally hearing voices in his head and things like that.” Dunham said when he first talked to Harmon, “He was not there.” Since then he’s getting treatment and the jail is giving him his medications, he added. “He didn’t kill those people. The defendant who is here today” is not the same person who did the crimes. “We have a person who now sees how serious this is. He took responsibility and turned himself in.”
Lewis sentenced Harmon to nine months for brandishing a firearm (a misdemeanor),10 years with eight years suspended for malicious wounding, three years for use of a firearm in a felony, 20 years for possession of a sawed-off shotgun with all but two years suspended, and 20 years for robbery with half the time suspended.
Dunham told the court that Harmon has a tattoo that was popular where he grew up. But that he is not a member of a street gang.
“Your criminal record stands for many years going back to 2000” in Accomack and Chesterfield and Virginia Beach, Va., said Lewis. “You have been on probation in each of these jurisdictions and you had probation revoked. You continued to commit serious offenses.”