Previous victim of jewelry store robber: ‘He tried to kill me’

Posted at 10:14 PM, May 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-10 01:19:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Three of the suspects arrested in connection with a deadly jewelry store robbery in downtown Richmond have a lengthy criminal history, according to court records.

Anthony Lenard, Jesse Edmond, and Paul Townes Jr. all have previous criminal charges on their records, according to court records and the Virginia Department of Corrections.

CBS 6 spoke with Bert Cole, who said Edmond robbed him in 2000.

“So he was prepared to kill?” CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit asked Cole.

“Oh yeah,” Cole said.

Jesse Edmond

Court documents show Edmond was charged with felony robbery in Cole’s case in July of 2000.

Cole, who lives in Chesterfield, said he and a few friends were playing a friendly game of poker, more than 10 years ago, with Edmond, when the game took a scary turn.

“Jesse just got mad and wanted to rob everybody there,” Cole said.

Cole said Edmond robbed him and his friends, and then threatened to kill them by pulling out a gun.

“He said I ain’t gonna let ya’ll tell on me,” Cole said.

Before he could do that, though, Cole wrestled the gun away.

“That’s why I’m standing here today,” Cole said.

Edmond is now one of the suspects charged with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the murder of Muhammad Baig, an employee at Victoria Jewelers who police said was killed during a robbery at the store on Monday.

“He shoulda never been on the streets,” Cole said.

CBS 6 pulled court records that show Edmond was ultimately charged with felony grand larceny in 2000 in Cole’s case.

As part of a plea agreement, Edmond was given 15 years in prison, with 12 of them suspended, according to court documents obtained at Richmond Circuit Court.

According to the Virginia Department of Corrections, Edmond was convicted of several other weapon and robbery crimes going all the way back to 1982.

Court documents also show that one of the other suspects in the jewelry store case, Anthony Lenard, also has a history of using guns to rob people.

Back in 2006, Lenard was convicted of holding up a cab driver.

CBS 6 spoke with the Manhattan Taxicab driver over the phone, but he asked us not to name him.

He told CBS 6 that Lenard and another guy pretended to hail a cab, and then pulled out a gun and demanded money.

Court records support the victim’s story.

State records show five years of Lenard’s sentence were suspended.


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