Judge Parker Self has sentenced convicted armed robber Lamarquette M. Erving, 31, of Minden, to 40 years at hard labor for robbing a convenience store on Lewisville Road on Thanksgiving Day – Nov. 25, 2010.
Assistant District Attorney Sherb Sentell, who prosecuted the case, said Erving entered the store during the early morning hours, wearing a mask to hide his identity and robbed the clerk at gunpoint.
"Erving went so far as to actually point the gun at the clerk's head, forcing her to open the register and get on her knees," Sentell said. "He then took $150 and fled."
Minden Police detectives Heath Balkom, Chris Cheatham, Dan Weaver and Marvin Garrett obtained video footage of the suspect.
It revealed that Erving, driving a Crown Victoria, had visited the store prior to the robbery and purchased gas and cigarettes using his debit card.
"We put two and two together and began searching for Erving," said Balkom in an interview the day after the robbery. "We located him at 11:48 a.m. traveling north on Weston Street and detained him."
Erving was taken to police headquarters for questioning. During this time, two additional witnesses were reportedly located, with one stating Erving had come to his house that morning where he ditched a ski mask, pair of coveralls and pistol.
"We went to the residence where we recovered the clothing and gun," Balkom said.
While detectives were searching the residence, Erving requested to speak to Balkom, at which time he provided a full confession.
When asked the motive for the armed robbery, Ervin reportedly told the detective he had been laid off work, times were hard and Christmas was coming.
"Video footage revealed that prior to the robbery, Erving drove past the Dixie Mart 10 times and walked by it three times before entering and robbing the store," Balkom said. "When we asked him why, he said he was debating on whether or not to rob the store."
District Attorney Schuyler Marvin commended the police department on how quickly and efficiently they handled the case.
"The Minden Police did a fabulous job," Marvin said. "They used video surveillance and witness statements to quickly solve the robbery and retrieve the orange mask and clothing Erving used. They even found the pistol Erving had hidden in a wall inside a closet."
Erving was sentenced to 35 years at hard labor for the armed robbery plus five additional years to run consecutive for using a firearm during the robbery.
According to Marvin, because it is a crime of violence, Erving will be 65 years old when he is first eligible for parole.
Erving has a criminal record with numerous felony and violent felony charges.