24-year old Marces Rush of Gulfport, pled guilty in Circuit Court this week to two robberies and an aggravated assault and was sentenced at the Harrison County Courthouse, according to the Second Circuit Court District Attorney Joel Smith.
Second Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson sentenced the Defendant to a total 50 years for the crimes, suspended 27 years of the sentence, leaving 23 years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
The cases began on the night of December 14, 2016, when the Gulfport Police Department was called to the Texaco gas station located at 2354 East Pass Road after a robbery was committed. Upon their arrival, the store clerk advised two men entered the store and robbed him of his personal property. Detectives located a video that captured the entire crime. It showed a man trying to make a purchase at the counter, while the defendant crawled underneath the clerk’s counter trying to take the clerk’s personal bag. Once the clerk discovered what was occurring, a fight ensured between the clerk and one of the defendants which resulted in the clerk being struck in the head several times with a laptop computer from his bag. The two men were able to get away with the clerk’s bag which also contained other electronics.
Approximately twelve hours later, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department was called to the Dollar General on Canal Road regarding another armed robbery. Upon their arrival, the officers located a victim lying in the roadway, bleeding profusely and suffering from stab wounds to his stomach. Detectives determined the defendant, Rush, entered the Dollar General wearing a mask, jumped over the counter and held a clerk at knifepoint demanding money. The clerk then called a manager over, who opened the register. The defendant grabbed the register till and fled the store.
Upon exiting the store, Rush was confronted by a Good Samaritan citizen who was trying to thwart the robbery. The Good Samaritan struck the defendant with a baseball bat trying to stop him. However, the defendant then turned and stabbed the Good Samarian with the knife multiple times in the stomach. The defendant then fled the area in a vehicle, only to be followed by other citizens who had observed the stabbing. “These citizens called 911 and followed the defendant until police arrived. Upon arrival, officers took over the pursuit of the suspect vehicle and were able to successfully stop and arrest the defendant. Evidence from both robberies was located in the defendant’s vehicle,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell, who prosecuted the case.
Based on the nature of the crime, Mississippi law requires the defendant to serve his entire sentence without parole. Upon his release from incarceration, the Defendant will be placed on 10 years of probation.