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Armed robber convicted for string of attempted robberies
Security camera images from Max General on August 28, 2013 - photo by Courtesy of the RCSO

CONYERS - A part-time robber who hit retail stores at gunpoint before clocking-in for his day job as a grocery store worker will be going to prison for life plus 15 years after being found guilty of a string of armed robbery and attempted robberies.

Johnathan Hall, 24, was convicted of one count of armed robbery, two counts of attempt to commit armed robbery, 10 counts of aggravated assault, one count of terroristic threats. He was charged with holding up or attempting to hold up Rue 21 on August 23, 2013, and Smoothie King and Max General in Rockdale County on August 28, 2013 using what turned out to be a BB gun and a stocking mask. He was arrested a day later, on August 29, 2013

The trial, which began Monday, Aug. 24 with jury selection, ended Friday, Aug. 28. The jury deliberated for four and a half hours before returning with a guilty verdict for all 14 counts.

Rockdale County Superior Court Judge Robert Mumford sentenced Hall to life plus 15 years in prison. Hall had previous convictions for armed robbery and, under Georgia law, was required to be assigned the maximum sentence - life - for this armed robbery conviction.

Hall had reportedly previously been convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was released on parole and reportedly is charged for committing another armed robbery in Nevada after he was released on parole. He then came to the Covington area, where his mother and brother reportedly reside.

Hall managed to get a job working at the Food Depot on Salem Road and lived with his girlfriend.

And then, Hall began a spree that spread havoc at multiple shopping locations.

According to Rockdale County Assistant District Attorney Paul Stalcup, on August 23, 2013, Hall drove to and parked behind the Rue 21 store at the Conyers Crossroads shopping center.

"He used what we think turned out to be a BB gun and demanded that the manager give him his money," said Stalcup. An employee who had come in to give her two-week's notice ran to the back of the store and attempted to hide.

"He went back and got her and dragged her out by the hair," said Stalcup. Hall, who was wearing a stocking mask, then grabbed the cash drawer from the register and fled, jumping over the wooden fence on the backside of the shopping center to where he had parked.

Conyers Police later found rolled coins and change that had fallen out of the cash drawer where it appeared Hall had jumped.

Hall then went to the Food Depot on Salem Road to clock in for his job there.

Five days later, Hall struck again, this time at the Smoothie King on Ga. Hwy 20 south, in the shopping center where Target is located.

At that robbery attempt, Hall was described as wearing a red shirt and distinctive looking shoes.

"He came in and pointed a gun and the person who worked there ran out the back door, followed by Mr. Hall," said Stalcup. Hall reportedly pulled back his pantyhose mask and took off his black hoodie, revealing the red work shirt underneath.

A witness from that scene described a Chevy Malibu 2008-2012 model year leaving.

An hour later, Hall drove up in a silver Chevy Malibu to the Max General cell phone store on Pine Log Road, dressed in a red shirt, black hoodie, and similarly distinctive looking shoes.

A customer was trying to put money on a debit card when Hall arrived. "(Hall) tells the two owners to open the back door or he's going to kill the guy trying to cash the check," said Stalcup.

The owners hit the burglar alarm and Hall fled in the silver Chevy Malibu.

Investigators suspected the robberies and attempted robberies were connected. A lookout alert was issued. A task force with Rockdale and Newton deputies was assembled to find the suspect.

Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Capt. Ransom spotted a silver Chevy Malibu in the parking lot of Food Depot on Salem Road. The car was being driven by Hall's girlfriend, who was waiting to pick up Hall after his shift at the Food Depot.

When Hall came out, deputies found he had a warrant for probation violation from Las Vegas.

At the jail, as he was being processed and booked in, deputies found a pantyhose mask in Hall's pocket.

Hall's girlfriend also pointed out the distinctive shoes shown in surveillance camera images were similar to shoes that Hall had at home. She also reportedly said the car seen in the images looked like her car, and that Hall had used her car on the days that the robbery and attempted robberies occurred.

In a search of the residence where Hall and his girlfriend lived, deputies found a bag with a BB gun in his bedroom.