HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A Bennettsville man has completed his guilty plea for an armed robbery as well as the kidnapping of an Aynor area store owner Tuesday afternoon.
Antonio Gilbert was also charged with assault and battery with intent to kill after reportedly attacking Craig Martin back in 2009.
During a hearing Tuesday, Gilbert completed his guilty plea and was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison for the kidnapping charge, 20 years in prison on the assault and battery with intent to kill charge and 20 years in prison on the armed robbery charge.
The sentences will run concurrent, meaning Gilbert will spend 20 total years in prison. He has been required to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence.
Martin was stabbed several times at the convenient store and had to have his eye removed after the robbery.
Police say Gilbert and a teen tied up Martin and when he tried to get free, the robbers attempted to cut out his eye.
Assistant Solicitor Alicia Richardson told WMBF News Gilbert gouged out Martin's eye with this thumb.
A woman named Kimberly O'Neill was also arrested in connection to the case. Police say she helped the men get away. She pled guilty to armed robbery, assault and battery with intent to kill and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was sentenced to 15 years each for the assault and the robbery charges, and was sentenced to three years for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Her sentences will run concurrent.
The teen, Kenneth O'Neill, was just 14-years-old when he stabbed Martin. He pled guilty to armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on each charge, to run concurrent.
Nearly two years after the brutal attack, Martin told a judge Tuesday some of his family members must attend counciling to help cope with the effects of the traumatic event. He says the store that he was attacked at has been in his family for nearly four generations and has since been leased out.