A Georgia teenager with no prior record was sentenced to five years behind bars for stealing a pair of $100 shoes.
Dayonn Davis, who is now 18, was charged as an adult despite being only 15 years old when the crime occurred. He’d been facing a count of armed robbery, but reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to robbery by force. The move allowed him to dodge a mandatory 10-year sentence.
Davis in 2016 spotted a pair of Nike Oreos — named for their black and white color scheme — for sale on Facebook and arranged to meet with the owner in Columbus Park.
“These shoes is took,” he said after trying on the sneakers. That’s when another male — who accompanied Davis to the meeting — pulled out a gun, scaring off the shoe seller as well as nearby park-goers.
Authorities later discovered the pair of Nike’s in the teen’s closet.
Prosecutor Sadhana Dailey defended Davis’ five-year sentence, calling it “a break” for the teen.
“This was an armed robbery. It’s not a theft,” she said Friday. “There’s a big difference between a theft and an armed robbery. The teen victim was robbed at gunpoint.”
Davis’ defense attorney, Susan Henderson, said her client was “extremely remorseful” and wants nothing more than to move forward with his life.
“I was young at the time, so I wasn’t in my right mind,” Davis told Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters.
Peters dubbed the case an unfortunate situation, adding that he would have preferred it been handled in juvenile court. Dailey however, said it was appropriate he be charged as an adult given the severity of his crime.
Because it’s his first offense, Davis’ record can be expunged if he successfully completes his 10-year probation, Peters said, adding it’s likely the teen will be released on parole before serving out his full sentence.
No one else has been charged in the case and it’s unclear whether Davis identified the gunman who accompanied him to the 2016 meeting.