A federal judge has sentenced a man to 16 years in prison for the armed robbery of a gambling establishment in Mississippi in 2015, resulting in the shooting of a regional policeman.
William Christopher Belk got the sentence on Friday after previously pleading guilty to burglary and using a firearm throughout a criminal activity of violence. The occurrence was at Bok Homa Casino, a betting center on the Choctaw Indian Booking and near Sandersville.
pointed the gun at a gatekeeper and proceeded to take various products before leaving
According to prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Workplace for the Southern District of Mississippi, the 33-year-old Belk entered the casino on July 9, 2020, with a handgun. He pointed the gun at a security officer and proceeded to take many products before getting away from home in a resort lorry.
Miguel Grimaldo, a part-time Sandersville Police Department officer, found the resort lorry at a gasoline station near the gambling establishment and attempted to detain the suspect. Belk shot him in the face and arm while trying to leave. Grimaldo, a Jones County Sheriff’s Department deputy, got healthcare facility treatment for his non-life-threatening injuries.
burglary, utilizing a gun throughout a crime of violence and stealing from an Indian video gaming facility
Law enforcement officer close-by Laurel ultimately detained the suspect at a Walmart following a chase. At the time, Belk got charges of armed robbery and intensified an attack on a police officer. Last August, a federal grand jury indicted Belk for theft, utilizing a firearm during a crime of violence, and stealing from an Indian gaming center. In February this year, Belk pleaded guilty to the first two of these charges.
In the official press release about Belk’s sentencing, Acting US Lawyer Darren LaMarca praised the Choctaw Police Department of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the FBI to deal with the case.
Occurrences of theft and shootings are not uncommon at gambling establishments across the United States, with some more extreme than others. In March, two guys got life sentences for their roles in a January 2018 heist and shooting inside a prohibited internet gambling establishment in Bakersfield, California.
While no one died, the burglars shot at a guard as they tried to leave the scene. The guard got hit by two bullets, receiving non-life-threatening injuries. Speaking about the reasoning behind the life sentences, Kern County DA Cynthia Zimmer said: “The life sentences, in this case, are an appropriate reflection of the severe criminal history of the transgressors in addition to the exceptionally violent actions of the criminal activities they committed.”
In a more recent shooting occurrence, a shooter killed two individuals at Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on May 1. Authorities shot the assailant dead after they showed up on the scene. The police believe that this was not a random attack, stating the shooter targeted a specific person who operated at the center.