Robbery and chase lead Kingman man to 20 year prison sentence

With his co-defendant already sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison, James Derrick Harrison received the same sentence Friday: 20 years for his part in the armed robbery of a Kingman convenience store and a high-speed chase with police officers in August.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steven Conn credited Harrison for about five months for the time he has already served in county jail.

Harrison, of Kingman, and John Henry Jr., of Golden Valley, were arrested Aug.

21 following a robbery at a Circle K store and a high-speed chase that ended in Golden Valley.

Harrison pleaded guilty in December to felony charges of three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, one count of armed robbery, and one count of unlawful flight from a police officer.

Harrison, 19, also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of a stolen firearm.

The weapon, used in the robbery, was stolen by Henry from a north Kingman pawnshop.

More than a dozen family members and friends were in court Friday to hear the verdict.

Before the verdict was read, a few family members spoke of Harrison being "out of character" that night and said he has taken full responsibility for his actions.

Harrison's attorney, Lee Novak, also asked Conn to take into consideration his client's age, lack of prior criminal record and his heavy consumption of alcohol that night.

"He deserves something less than the maximum in this case," Novak said.

"James Harrison was not involved in the burglary of the pawnshop.

That burglary led to this incident.

That is significant.

He did this in a couple of hours that negated anything he has done in his life up to that point."

Novak also evoked a prior case where a more violent criminal, with a substantial criminal history, received 21 years for a similar offense.

He also pointed out no one was hurt in the incident.

But Conn was not swayed by the family or the defense's comments.

Conn said that Harrison was the one who not only committed the armed robbery, but also fired off several rounds in the store in the direction of a clerk, then in the pursuit, fired more shots in the direction of police officers.

Harrison's codefendant, Henry pleaded guilty to felony charges of one count of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, one count of armed robbery, and one count of unlawful flight.

Henry, 19, also pleaded guilty to theft and first-degree burglary for the Aug.

17 burglary of a Kingman pawnshop.

In the early morning hours of Aug.

21, the teen-agers held up the convenience store on Kingman Avenue, then drove through city streets before making their way onto Interstate 40.

Pursued by Kingman police officers, Arizona Department of Public Safety officers and Mohave County sheriff's deputies, Harrison fired about 100 rounds from two guns, a 9mm and a .357-caliber handgun, during the entire chase.

With speeds up to 85 mph, the 20-mile chase ended in Golden Valley on state Route 68 when the engine in the suspect's truck blew up.

Henry and Harrison were quickly captured.