Serial armed robber gets more than decade in prison

Thursday, August 04, 2016

A Hennepin County District Court judge sentenced Tyrone Morris to more than 10 years in prison, the most allowed under the guidelines, for a series of armed robberies, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Judge Jay Quam told Morris, 27, of St. Louis Park, that “at some point, I have to look at all the terror you caused,” and noted he had, on two separate occasions, been found delinquent as a juvenile for armed robbery. With that, Judge Quam told Morris Monday afternoon that he would give him a break and not run the sentences consecutively, but would send him to prison for 129 months, the most severe sentence allowed under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines for armed robbery.

“We are pleased with the sentence handed down by Judge Quam,” Freeman said. “Mr. Morris and his co-defendant, Jerry Carroll, physically assaulted several and terrorized others when they pointed loaded guns in their faces. He had his chances to reform his behavior. Now it is time for him to sit in prison.”

Morris pleaded guilty June 3 to the three aggravated robberies and to a felon in procession of a gun. The crime spree began Oct. 25 at the Jimmy Johns sandwich shop at 404 14th Ave. SE. At about 9:15 a.m., Carroll tried to enter through the locked front door. The employee preparing food for the day indicated they were closed. Carroll then called the store and told the employee he was there to work for someone else.

The employee let Carroll in and he immediately went to the back and unlocked the door. Seconds later, Morris, wearing a half mask, walked in, put a gun to the employee’s head and demanded he opened the safe. After getting money from the safe, Carroll punched the employee in the face and then they tied him up in the basement and stole money from him and items from employee lockers. A store manager watched the video with police and identified Morris because he had worked at the store.

On Dec. 19, Morris and Carroll robbed a convenience store at 3759 Penn Ave. N.  of cash and tobacco products and also stole the employee’s cell phone and his personal cash. Both men pointed guns at the employee.

On Dec. 21, Morris and Carroll robbed a convenience store at 1631 Washington St. NE. Both men had guns and Carroll again punched one of the employees in the face. They left with hundreds of dollars in cash, tobacco products and white T-shirts.

Finally, on Dec. 28, police found Morris near his home and arrested him. At the time, he was carrying a backpack which contained a loaded handgun.

At his sentencing, Morris apologized to his wife and his sisters, who had attended the court hearings and to his victims.

“Being a guy who worked the last nine, 10 years, I know what it is like to have a gun pointed in your face,” he said.

Carroll also pleaded guilty and already had been sentenced to 75 months in prison.

Criminal complaint (PDF)

Criminal complaint2 (PDF)

Criminal complaint3 (PDF)