Driver in fatal Macon restaurant robbery pleads guilty

A Macon man was sentenced Monday in Bibb County Superior Court for being the getaway driver in a Jan. 19 attempted armed robbery at the Checkers restaurant on Spring Street that ended in a shootout with police near Capitol Avenue.

Eric Laren Daniels, 27, of Ohara Drive, pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his probation by committing a new crime, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and his failure to pay fines and fees associated with his probation.

Daniels’ probation was revoked and he was sentenced to serve about three years in prison.

Daniels’ cousin, 27-year-old Benjamin Hill, allegedly attempted to rob the restaurant at gunpoint and then fled in a car driven by Daniels.

The car was chased by police. At some point, Hill got out of the car and got into a shootout with police that ended with Hill dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Officers chased Daniels in a car until he wrecked at the corner of Mead and Guy Paine roads.

Daniels’ attorney, Paul Christian, said Daniels was not a willing participant in the incident.

He said Hill called Daniels and asked him to pick him up on Riverside Drive.

When police started chasing the car, Hill pulled a gun on Daniels and told him to “put some lead on it,” Christian said.

When questioned by police, Christian said Daniels initially denied knowing Hill out of fear and not wanting to be associated with him.

“Mr. Daniels was scared of Mr. Hill,” he said.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.