Hampton man pleads guilty in Seacoast robbery spree
BRENTWOOD — A Hampton man who committed three armed robberies in the Seacoast area, including one where he assaulted a woman in downtown Portsmouth, has been sentenced to 4 to 12 years in state prison.
David Wilson, 27, pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery in Rockingham County Superior Court on Wednesday as part of a negotiated agreement that allowed him to avoid the prospect of a harsher sentence had he been convicted at trial.
DNA found on clothing that Wilson had shed after each of the heists linked him to the 2012 robbery spree, which happened between Jan. 29 and Feb. 1, according to Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway.
Wilson used a BB gun that resembled a Glock-style handgun that made his victims believe they were being threatened with a high-caliber weapon.
One of the women — a female store clerk who worked at Tedeschi’s in Portsmouth — told the judge in a letter that her life entered a downward spiral after facing the barrel of Wilson’s gun.
“The anxiety is crushing,” the woman said in the letter. “I lost my job. I’m still afraid to go out at night alone.”
Wilson, wearing a red bandana and black hat, entered the Tedeschi’s store at 5:15 p.m. and pointed the gun at the woman. He fled with $108 in cash.
“He told her he was serious a few times but did not want to hurt her,” Conway said. Police later recovered a black hat and bandana nearby, and sent the items to the state lab for DNA testing.
Conway said another woman was robbed Feb. 1, 2012, while walking along the Vaughn Mall about 8 p.m. She was on her way to meet her boyfriend who was working at Café Med, a nearby restaurant, when a man wearing black makeup and a black hat said to her, “Give me your bag, (expletive).”“She first thought he was joking because he was speaking softly,” Conway said. “The defendant then struck her in the head with the gun. She struggled to keep her purse.”Portsmouth police found a BB gun’s empty magazine at the scene.
In between the two Portsmouth robberies, Wilson robbed a Domino’s Pizza along Route 1 in Hampton on Jan. 31, 2012. He entered the store and told the female employee to give him all of the store’s money, then forced her to get face down on the floor before he fled, Conway said. Wilson dumped a black hooded sweatshirt behind a nearby business. The sweatshirt was later recovered by police. The clothing recovered in the Portsmouth and Hampton cases had traces of DNA linked to Wilson, Conway said.The gun magazine provided another clue for police when they searched Wilson’s car March 22, 2012, and found a broken Glock-style BB gun, Conway said.
At the time, Wilson had a warrant out for his arrest in Eliot, Maine, which prompted his arrest and a search warrant being executed on his car. Wilson also received a suspended 5- to 10-year prison sentence for one of the robberies that can be imposed once he is released. He will be required to pay restitution and undergo drug and alcohol counseling.
Wilson is serving two consecutive 2- to 6-year sentences for the Portsmouth robberies.