SNOW HILL — Two suspects arrested last October for their roles in a pair of gunpoint robberies in Ocean City were convicted last week and sentenced to 10 and 12 years in prison, respectively.
Last week, Kevone Bunting, 19, of Georgetown, Del., pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and was sentenced on both counts to 10 years in prison with all but five years suspended. Similarly, Adrian Matthews, 21, of Seaford, also pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery for his role in the incidents and was sentenced on both counts to 12 years in prison with all but six years suspended.
The Worcester County Circuit Court judge presiding over the case made the sentences for each count consecutive, meaning Bunting will serve the full 10 years, while Matthews will serve the full 12 years. Another defendant in the case, Kiya Connor, 20, of Salisbury, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit robbery and sentencing in her case has been set for June 7. Another suspect, Brittney Taylor, 20, of Salisbury, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to five years with all but nine months suspended.
Around 7:50 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2018, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a hotel in the area of 37th Street for a reported armed robbery. The alleged victim, who was a patron of the hotel, told police one suspect held him at gunpoint while another suspect removed items from his pockets.
According to police reports, the victim walked from the hotel’s beach bar to the restroom inside the hotel. While in the restroom, the victim was approached by two suspects, one of whom grabbed him from behind, turned his body around and held a gun to his neck. The second suspect rummaged through the victim’s pockets, allegedly stealing a cell phone, $24 in cash and a bank card.
The victim was able to provide descriptions of the suspects, who fled the area on foot. About 20 minutes later, OCPD officers responded to a Boardwalk hotel at 14th Street for a report of two suspicious persons. The front desk clerk told police two suspects entered the lobby wearing hooded sweatshirts with the hoods pulled up and covering their faces and asked about room rates.
The desk clerk said the two suspicious suspects left the hotel lobby without further incident. A review of hotel surveillance footage revealed the suspects matched the descriptions provided by the victim at the armed robbery at the hotel on 37th Street earlier.
About 20 minutes after that, OCPD officers responded to a convenience store at 94th Street for a reported armed robbery. The store clerk told police two suspects entered the store. One suspect asked about purchasing alcohol, while the second suspect headed toward the restroom. The victim told police both suspects then approached the counter an inquired about purchasing cigarillos. When the clerk scanned the purchase and the cash register drawer opened, one suspect pointed a black handgun at the clerk. The clerk told police she was uncertain how much money the suspects had taken, but knew they had taken all of the one-dollar bills and most of the five- and 10-dollar bills, but did not clear out the register drawer.
Again, OCPD detectives viewed surveillance video from the convenience store and determined the suspects matched the descriptions of the suspects in the armed robbery at 37th Street and the suspicious suspects at the hotel on 14th Street. Around 9:10 p.m., or over an hour after the first armed robbery at 37th Street, the same suspects entered a hotel on 55th Street with hoods pulled up covering their faces and asked about renting a room, but left the scene without further incident.
Around 9:40 p.m., OCPD detectives got a break when an employee at a convenience store at 85th Street reported he possibly had information about the suspects. The employee told police a person matching the description of one of the robbery suspects had entered the store and purchased cigarillos before exiting the store and leaving the scene in a silver Nissan Sentra. Ocean City Communications then broadcasted a description of the vehicle.
Around 10:30 p.m., an OCPD officer on patrol observed the suspect Nissan Sentra in the parking lot of a restaurant on 61st Street. OCPD officers observed as two females later Connor and Taylor entered the vehicle. A third suspect, later identified as Bunting stood beside the vehicle. A fourth suspect, identified as Matthews, 21, of Seaford, saw the officers approaching the vehicle and left the area on foot, but was detained a short time later.
Matthews and Bunting matched the descriptions of the two armed robberies at 37th Street and 94th Street, along with the suspicious behavior at two other hotels and a second convenience store, all within an hour-and-a-half apart. During a probably cause search of the vehicle, OCPD officers located sweatshirts and other apparel in the trunk which had been worn by the suspects in the armed robberies.
Connor and Taylor were interviewed and told police Matthews and Bunting had been involved in the armed robbery in the hotel bathroom at 37th Street and were disappointed because of the low amount of cash stolen. The two female suspects also told OCPD detectives that Matthews and Bunting had committed the armed robbery at the convenience store at 94th Street.
According to police reports, Connor told detectives she had driven Matthews and Bunting to each of the armed robberies. Connor told police Taylor was present in the vehicle the whole time and the four suspects talked about each of the robberies before and after they were committed.
Matthews was interviewed by detectives and admitted to being the gunman in the convenience store robbery, but would not implicate Bunting. Matthews did tell police Bunting was the other man with him in the surveillance videos at each of the locations.
Matthews told police the weapon used during the crimes was a BB gun and that he had discarded the weapon behind a dune fence near the beach at 60th Street. OCPD officers recovered the BB gun on the beach at 60th Street.