Christmas Day Bandits Face Decade in Prison
Arlington men convicted of robbing Four Mile Run gas station at gunpoint.
An Arlington County jury this week found two men guilty of a Christmas Day robbery of a gas station and recommended to a judge that they serve at least a decade behind bars.
Liban Jama, 24, and Earl Brown, 28, both of Arlington, were arrested Dec. 25, 2011, following an armed robbery.
Jama entered the Mobil gas station at 4154 S. Four Mile Run Drive shortly after noon that day. He brandished a gun — later determined to be a BB gun — and demanded money and cigarettes.
After the heist, he joined Brown, who was waiting in the getaway car.
The robbery "drew numerous police officers to the area with guns drawn in an effort to arrest the two as they tried to flee the scene," according to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for Arlington and Falls Church.
The two were arrested and Jama was charged with armed robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Brown was initially only charged with armed robbery, though he was later indicted on both charges, Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos said.
In Virginia, as is the case in other states, an armed robbery charge is levied whenever someone implies they have a weapon.
On Tuesday, a jury found the men guilty of both counts.
On Wednesday, the jury recommended that Brown be sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison; Jama, a total of 10 years.
The court set Aug. 24 for a final sentencing hearing.
Arlington County Circuit Court Judge Joanne F. Alper can impose lighter sentences, but she cannot impose anything longer than what the jury recommended.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Molly Newton and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney D. Scott Porter prosecuted the the three-day jury trial.