Gang Member Gets 50 Years For Armed Robbery

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ELIZABETH — A North Carolina man was sentenced to 50 years in prison last Friday, after being found guilty of first degree armed robbery, second degree aggravated assault and weapon offences, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced Monday.

Following a two-week trial last May, a jury convicted Burton Smith, 26, of Fayetteville, N.C. for his role in a March 6, 2009 attack in Hillside, according to Assistant Prosecutor Joshua McMahon, who prosecuted the case.

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According to the investigation Smith, a confirmed member of the Bloods Street Gang, was in a car with his girlfriend staked out in front of a check-cashing store on Liberty Avenue in Hillside. When a customer exited the store following a transaction, Smith, jumped from the vehicle, attacked the victim, stabbing him numerous times, stealing his cash, wallet and other items and leaving him for dead, said McMahon.

Due to the excellent police work by members of the Hillside and Union Township Police Department, Smith was arrested the following day at the Garden State Motor Lodge on Rt. 22, according to McMahon. His girlfriend, Christina Rourke-Moore was also arrested. She was tried along with Smith and was found guilty of third degree theft.

During the sentencing on July 16, Judge Joseph Perfilio called Smith “a predator” before sentencing him to the 50 years in state prison.


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