Houston & Peach

He won the right to a new trial, but then decided to plead guilty

Anthony Scott Chairmont
Anthony Scott Chairmont

A Warner Robins man serving a life sentence for the 2007 armed robbery of a Robins Federal Credit Union teller won the right to a new trial, but then decided to plead guilty.

Anthony Scott Chairmont, 36, was convicted by a jury of robbing a teller at the credit union at 502 S. Houston Lake Road in Warner Robins of $1,900 on Dec. 6, 2007. He was sentenced as a recidivist in May 2009.

His prior convictions in Bibb County included cocaine possession in 2001 and the sale of oxycodone in 2003.

He later was granted a new trial, claiming he did not know he would be required to serve a life sentence with the possibility of parole under state law when he had rejected a plea offer before trial. The earliest he could have been considered for parole was after serving 30 years. The plea offer had included only a 10-year prison term.

Had he known that, Chairmont said in his appeal, he would not have rejected the plea offer and taken his chances with a jury.

But that wasn’t a chance he was willing to take Monday when he took a plea deal of 15 years for the armed robbery.

Russell Walker, his court-appointed attorney, said Chairmont weighed the possibility of being convicted at trial and sentenced to life in prison for the second time.

Also, Chairmont’s sentence for the armed robbery will run at the same time with sentences for unrelated crimes in two other states, and he earned credit for time served pending trial for the Houston County crime, Walker said.

Meanwhile, co-defendant John Wellborn Smith was previously sentenced in Houston County to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal attempt to commit armed robbery. Smith received early parole in June 2012, Houston County Superior Court records show.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser