Days after testifying against his co-defendant in the armed robbery of a Circle K convenience store in January of 2019, Deontre Cortez Farris walked out of court Monday to serve a 6-year sentence on probation.
Farris had already spent 951 days incarcerated in the county jail. He was released on Aug. 24 to await the resolution of his case. He will get credit off his sentence for the time he was in jail.
Farris, 21, and 54-year-old Leslie Lamont Coleman, robbed the store on Jan. 15, 2019, threatening the clerk with knives.
Coleman was found guilty last week after a three-day jury trial. He will be sentenced on Jan. 20 and will likely spend the rest of his life in jail as he was previously convicted of murdering a convenience store clerk in Nashville in December of 1990.
In that case he shot the 35-year-old female store clerk three times in the back of the head while she lay on the floor.
Farris (like Coleman) was originally charged with aggravated robbery which is punishable by 8 to 30 years’ imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $25,000.
In a plea deal with prosecutors, Farris agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, facilitation of aggravated robbery.
He will have to serve at least 22 months, of supervised probation (or in prison if he violates the terms of probation) before he will be eligible for early release. He will also have to serve three more months of probation from an aggravated assault conviction in Maury County.
Coleman’s defense attorney, public defender James Tucker, suggested in his closing argument in Coleman’s trial that Farris’s testimony implicating Coleman was an attempt to “curry favor” with prosecutors and get a lighter sentence.
While questioning Farris during the trial, Tucker asked Farris what his motive was for testifying.
“I found out I was having another kid (he now has three children),” Farris said. “I want to get straightened out and get this behind me.”
“It sounds like you want a deal,” Tucker said.
“It’s not about a deal,” Farris replied. “It’s about getting this behind me.”
As Farris left the courtroom Monday, following sentencing, prosecutor Michael Randles, offered him a bit of advice.
“Don’t be like Mr. Coleman,” Randles said.
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