Eight-Year Sentence For Armed Robbery Spree

SNOW HILL — The last of four suspects involved in gunpoint robberies in Ocean City last year was sentenced last week to eight years in jail.

Kiya Conner, 21, of Salisbury, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery for her role in the spree last Oct. 21 and sentencing was deferred. Back in court last Thursday, Conner was sentenced to eight years for each count for a total of 16 years, but the sentence in the second count was suspended, netting her a total of eight years.

Another defendant in the case, Kevone Bunting, 19, of Seaford, was sentenced last month to 10 years with all but five suspended for his role in the robbery spree last October. Adrian Matthews last month was sentenced to a total of 24 years for two counts of robbery with all but six years suspended. Yet another defendant, Brittney Taylor, 20 of Salisbury, last month pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to five years with all but nine months suspended.

Around 7:50 p.m. last Oct. 21, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a hotel in the area of 37th Street for a reported armed robbery. 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.

About 20 minutes after that, OCPD officers responded to a convenience store at 94th Street for a reported armed robbery. When the clerk scanned a 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.

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.

The same suspects then 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 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.

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. During a 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. 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.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.