A Gulfport man will serve 23 years of a 50-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of armed robbery and aggravated assault.
Marces Rush pleaded guilty in Harrison County Circuit Court to the crimes that were committed Dec. 14, 2016. He was sentenced to 50 years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections by Judge Lisa Dodson, but 27 years of his sentence were suspended.
Rush, 24, was arrested along with Demarcus Leshore, who was 25 at the time of his arrest. Leshore was arrested on charges of armed robbery, robbery and accessory after the fact.
District Attorney Joel Smith said in a news release that on the night of Dec. 14, 2016, Gulfport police responded to a robbery call at the Texaco gas station located at 2354 East Pass Road. The store clerk told police two men entered the store and robbed him of his personal property.
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Smith said the crime was caught on surveillance video.
He said the recording showed a man trying to make a purchase at the counter while Rush crawled underneath the clerk’s counter and attempted to take a personal bag. 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 bag, which also contained other electronics.
About 12 hours later, Smith said the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office responded to a robbery call at the Dollar General on Canal Road.
The officers found a man lying in the roadway, bleeding profusely and suffering from stab wounds to his stomach, Smith said.
Detectives determined Rush entered the store wearing a mask, jumped over the counter and held a clerk at knife-point demanding money. The clerk then called a manager over, who opened the register. Rush grabbed the register till and fled the store, Smith said.
Smith said a “good Samaritan” attempted to stop the robbery by hitting Rush with a baseball bat, but Rush was able to grab the man and stabbed him multiple times in the stomach.
Based on the nature of the crime, Smith said state requires that Rush serve his entire sentence without parole. Upon his release from prison, he will serve 10 years of probation.