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2008 Pawn Shop Killer Pleads Guilty to Second Degree Murder, Common Law Robbery and 4 more charges; Sentence is 30 to 37 Years

John Richard Gray

March 6, 2012. On Monday, John Richard Gray, 31, plead guilty to the 2008 murder of Jimmy Roberts, then owner of Gold and Closeout Connection on King Street, and five other crimes associated with the killing and plunder of the pawn shop. He was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of 37 years for all the charges.

He plead guilty to second-degree murder, a charge that came with a sentence of 26 to 32 years and common law robbery, which came with 25 to 30 months. Four other charges were consolidated and came with 25 to 30 months, too — two charges of possession of firearm by felon, felony larceny and possession of stolen goods. He was also ordered to pay $14, 619 in restitution to the Roberts family as well as pay for his court-appointed lawyers, which were Scott Casey and Jeff Hedrick.

The trial for the three-year-old pawnshop murder was set to begin yesterday with Gray of Virginia Beach charged with first degree murder, robbery with dangerous weapon and aforementioned charges not bundled together.

In the winter of 2008, two days after killing Jimmy Roberts, Gray was arrested on Christmas Day for the murder of Roberts after a standoff with Illinois State Police at a hotel in Rochelle, Ill.

The truck Gray believed to have left the scene of the crime in was a pewter-colored Chevrolet Silverado pickup was marked with a company name that said “Yard Art.”