Couple sentenced to more than 30 years in federal prison for robberies

Couple sentenced to more than 30 years in federal prison for robberies

A couple has been collectively sentenced to more than 30 years in federal prison for robbing multiple businesses across Memphis.

Between May and June 2015, 33-year-old Julius Knight and 25-year-old Diedra Mason, both of Memphis took part in armed robberies at multiple Family Dollar stores, a Subway, Papa John’s, and Dollar General.

Knight also robbed two restaurants on his own.

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Officials said Knight would come in with a weapon and demand money from cash registers. During those robberies, he wore multiple disguises, including a red wig, skull cap, baseball hat, and wearing pantyhose over his face.

They said Mason, who was his girlfriend at the time, was the getaway driver. Law enforcement discovered their pattern and identified a blue Ford Taurus as the getaway car used in the robberies at Family Dollar, Subway and Papa John’s.

On June 1, 2015, officers stopped a blue Ford Taurus matching the description. Mason was driving.

Police arrested her after realizing her license was suspended.

After that arrest, Knight robbed two more businesses on his own, but without a disguise.

One June 3, 2015, he robbed a Church’s Chicken on Chelsea Ave.

Five days later, police said he robbed another Church’s on Thomas Ave. Employees there told police Knight approached one of them from behind as they were working the drive-thru window.

He demanded money, jumped the counter, and ran.

Customers in the drive-thru were able to see Knight’s face and a weapon.

Fingerprints were taken from the restaurant that matched Knight’s. He was later found and arrested.

In April, 2016, Mason pleaded guilty in federal court to six counts of aiding and abetting Knight during the robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce.

Knight pleaded guilty in May, 2016 to six counts of the same charge for aiding Mason, one count of using a firearm during a robbery of a business engaged in interstate commerce, and two counts of robbing a business engaged in interstate commerce.

A judge sentenced Mason to 53 months in federal prison on Tuesday, August 2.

Knight was sentenced to 336 months on Thursday.