The admitted getaway driver in a string of robberies that left a convenience store owner dead and three other clerks injured said he and his accomplice made less than $20 in cash from each heist, according to testimony Tuesday in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
They came away empty-handed after a June 7, 2006, robbery during which owner Balbir Boyal was shot to death in his store on Riverside Drive in Modesto.
Laron Tavon Davis, 25, of Ceres took the stand during a hearing to determine whether Edward Deandre Mitchell, 22, of Modesto should stand trial on capital murder charges.
Davis said he and Mitchell were using "a lot" of ecstasy and were drunk when they decided to begin their spree -- which he called a "spur-of-the-moment thing" -- at the am-pm minimarket at 2033 Standiford Ave. in April 2006.
Davis testified that he sat in the car as Mitchell ran in and robbed Gilbert Mata, one of the three clerks who were injured by gunfire.
"He said he shot the dude, but I didn't believe him," Davis said. "I didn't hear gunshots."
Defense attorney Frank Carson said Davis will get 13 years in prison in exchange for his testimony, which continues today.
A special circumstance alleged by prosecutors -- murder in the course of a robbery -- makes Mitchell, who is accused of being the shooter, eligible for the death penalty.
He is also charged with:
- The attempted murder of Sam Obaid on May 31, 2006, at Sunset Market, 1000 Beverly Drive
- The robbery of Mata at the am-pm minimarket
- The robbery of Willey Martinez Vasquez on April 22, 2006, at the Stop 'N Save Market at 1424 Coffee Road
- The robbery of Chao Thang Nai on April 20, 2006, at the Stop 'N Save Market at 3460 Oakdale Road
Mata and Vasquez were wounded.
Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2337.