Perry man gets life for credit union robbery

PERRY — A 29-year-old Perry man was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the 2007 armed robbery of Robins Federal Credit Union at 502 S. Houston Lake Road in Warner Robins.

Anthony Scott Chairmont won’t be eligible for parole for 30 years, Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke said.

Because of two prior felony convictions, Chairmont was sentenced as a recidivist, and under Georgia law, the required sentence is life in prison after conviction of a “capital offense” such as the armed robbery of a credit union, Burke said.

Four offenses in Georgia — rape, kidnapping with bodily injury, armed robbery and murder — are considered capital offenses, although federal law defines murder as the only crime punishable by death, Burke said.

Chairmont was convicted of cocaine possession in Bibb County in 2001 and of the sale of Oxycodone in Bibb County in 2003, Burke said.

Chairmont’s defense in the armed robbery of the credit union was that he did not have a gun, the prosecutor said.

However, under Georgia law, if the offender gestures as if he had a gun, the offender may be charged, prosecuted and convicted of armed robbery, Burke said.

“We do not have to prove he had a gun,” Burke said. “All we have to do is prove that he made the inference of a gun.”

Chairmont gestured that he had a gun and the teller feared for her life in the Dec. 6 incident, Warner Robins police detective Tom Williams previously said.

Chairmont was sentenced by Judge Edward D. Lukemire immediately after the jury verdict in the two-day trial.

Jurors deliberated for about three hours Thursday, Burke said.

Co-defendant John Wellborn Smith, 57, of Warner Robins, previously pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and was sentenced to eight years in prison, Burke said. Smith was banished from Houston County.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 923-3109, extension 243.