HAMPTON, Va. — James Gregory, one of the men accused of robbing a GameStop last year, was sentenced to 80 years in prison Monday. It's essentially a life sentence.
The robbery turned into a violent encounter in a parking lot in 2017 with a police officer getting shot in the chest.
Gregory, who was 20 years old at the time of the alleged crime, previously pleaded guilty to 16 charges related to the incident.
Gregory, along with two other men, attempted to rob the GameStop in the Hampton Town Center AMC on June 12, 2017, according to police.
According to witness statements, the men locked customers and staff inside the store before a foot pursuit with police that ended with one officer being shot. Luckily the officer survived but tore his ACL during the encounter.
During Monday's hearing, Gregory apologized for his actions. His mom testified in his defense and said "he's not a monster." Still, prosecutors and a witness say Gregory was the ring leader of the GameStop robbery and deserves to be punished.
"You don’t forget someone putting a gun to your head. You don’t forget someone threatening your life," said Anton Bell, the Commonwealth's Attorney. "That’s why life was so appropriate because [the victims'] lives will never be the same. If their lives will never be the same, I think it deserves a consequence of a life sentence."
Another man, Leonard Morrison, faces the most serious charges related to the incident, including attempted capital murder.
In addition, Morrison and Gregory are accused of killing two people in Virginia Beach. Morrison was already found guilty. Gregory is scheduled back in court on the murder charge next week. He's expected to plead guilty.