Man gets 10-year sentence in flea market case
HUNTINGTON — Flea market vendor Edward Perry sat with a calm satisfaction Thursday, but emotion overwhelmed those who supported one of his attackers.
The outpouring came Thursday when a judge ordered a 10-year prison sentence for Romel Green, the second of three defendants punished for their roles in a March 16, 2012, shooting and robbery at the Milton Flea Market.
Green, 21, had pleaded guilty in August to first-degree robbery, admitting he both held a gun during the attack on Perry and stole a case containing $20,000 in coins. The attack happened about 8 a.m. as Perry arrived to open his shop, Perry’s Coin & Jewelry Repair.
Green had faced additional charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy, which were dismissed in exchange for the plea.
Both sides agree Green never fired his weapon, however Perry noted the use of a gun as well as the humiliation of the attack in asking for a significant sentence.
“I didn’t mind being robbed,” he told Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell. “It was the pure humiliation of my glasses being knocked off, my keys being thrown away, being spat upon, being sat upon, the gun being held up on me while I was being tied up. Although Mr. Green did not do the shooting, being shot four times was not a picnic. I’ve gone through a lot.”
Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell noted Green’s lack of a criminal record and his cooperation in describing the difficulty of fashioning a punishment worthy of both the defendant and his crime. The judge considered granting Green’s wish for placement at a state facility for youthful offenders, but settled upon the 10-year sentence. Farrell said he believed Green needed time to reflect on his participation in a crime that could have killed someone.
“I just think in my heart of hearts that 18 months isn’t enough,” Farrell said in referencing the average discharge date for those placed at the youthful offender facility.
Green apologized to Perry, his family and the court as he read a prepared statement before learning his fate. Afterward, he comforted those loved ones overwhelmed with emotion.
“I’m not a bad person,” he told the court. “I just made a wrong decision.”
Tiffany Brook Whittenburg, one of two co-defendants, made similar comments at sentencing earlier this week. She had pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy and received three years probation, a $500 fine and orders to pay restitution for having driven her accomplices to and from the scene.
The alleged shooter, Brett Allen Newman, awaits trial.
Both Green and Whittenburg have provided statements against Newman and pledged their cooperation with prosecutors.
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