United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today, Davontai Jones-Robinson, 23, of Evansville, Indiana, and Trinity Taylor, 26, of Prattville, Alabama, are in federal custody and charged with three counts each of Obstruction of Commerce by Robbery, and three counts each of Use of a Firearm During and Relation to a Crime of Violence.
“Living a life of crime never pays off,” said Minkler. “Their short-lived crime spree spread fear into the lives of the innocent victims that they may carry the rest of their lives. And now Jones-Robinson and Taylor face a life sentence in federal prison.”
On 08/13/20 around 8 pm, officers with the Evansville Police Department were sent to a robbery in progress at Kwik Stop located at 4301 Pollack Avenue. A nearby neighbor reported seeing a man with a long-gun run in and out of the store. The clerk said a black male entered the store with a gun and ordered him to open the register. The gunman took an undetermined amount of cash and cigarettes, then exited the store.
Approximately 6 1/2 hours later, around 2:30 am on 08/14/20, officers with the Evansville Police Department were again advised of a robbery in progress at the Circle K located at 2400 E. Riverside Drive. As in the earlier robbery, a black male entered the business brandishing a gun and wearing the same clothing description as before. He ordered the clerk to open the register and he took an undetermined amount of cash and cigarettes. A dark-colored passenger car is also observed in the area before and during the robbery.
Approximately 9 ½ hours later, Warrick County Law Enforcement officers were notified of a robbery in progress at Chuckles located at 175 W. Main Street in Elberfeld. Once again, a black male entered the business with a gun and ordered the clerk to open the register. The gunman stole an undetermined amount of cash and leaving in a dark-colored passenger car.
Investigators were able to determine that the same individual committed the robberies and the same dark-colored passenger car was involved as the getaway vehicle. The license plate number was identified and investigators from the Indiana State Police were able to determine it belonged to a car rental company. Records indicated that Trinity Taylor was renting the vehicle in question.
On 08/14/20 around 3:45 pm, patrol officers from the Evansville Police Department located the vehicle in question at Covert Avenue and Green River Road. Trinity Taylor was identified as the driver and taken into custody. Further investigation revealed that Jones-Robinson was the armed gunman who went inside and robbed the businesses.
A search warrant was executed at the apartment where Taylor and Jones-Robinson were residing. Several items related to all three robberies were discovered and secured as evidence.
This case was investigated by the FBI Indiana Violent Crime Task Force, Evansville Police Department, Warrick County Sheriff’s Department, and the Indiana State Police.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Todd Shellenbarger, who is prosecuting this case for the government, both defendants face up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release after being released from federal prison.
Criminal charges are merely allegations and are not evidence of guilt. Both defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in federal court.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution sentencing demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to investigate and prosecute defendants committing violent crimes involving firearms. (See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Sections 2.3)