WAUKESHA COUNTY -- A Waukesha County judge sentenced Kenneth Thomas on Wednesday, May 4th to 45 years in prison plus another 20 years of extended supervision. This, in connection with a fatal shooting at a Waukesha gas station that happened during an armed robbery in January 2015.
Thomas pleaded guilty in February to two amended charges: felony murder and armed robbery, repeater. Five other charges were dismissed.
Two other people were charged in connection with this crime.
Jerica Cotton in February pleaded guilty to an amended charge of armed robbery as party to a crime. She was sentenced in April to serve eight years in prison and 10 years extended supervision.
Also in April, Darrin Malone was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision with credit for 421 days served after he was found guilty by a jury in February on one count of felony murder in this case.
The armed robbery and fatal shooting happened on January 13th, 2015.
Police said two masked men robbed the gas station near Whiterock Avenue and Moreland Boulevard.
Prosecutors said one of them was Malone. They said the other was Kenneth Thomas -- who allegedly shot and killed the store clerk.
Police said Malone went into the gas station on the night of the robbery/fatal shooting — following behind Thomas. Cotton, police said, was the getaway driver.
According to the criminal complaint, Malone supplied the masks that were used in the crime. Thomas told police “Malone was behind him (when they walked into the gas station) and that the clerk started freaking out and so did he. Thomas stated that the clerk ran out as he climbed over the counter. Thomas stated that the clerk then came around and grabbed him and the next thing he knew, the gun went off.” The complaint indicates that Malone asked Thomas “if he did it on purpose and Thomas said no.”
Police arrested Thomas, a convicted felon, in West Allis less than 10 hours after the shooting. Cotton was also quickly apprehended. Darrin Malone, however, was on the run until February 23rd, 2015 — more than a month after the shooting.
As Kenneth Thomas was wheeled into the courtroom on Wednesday for his sentencing, he said he is a changed man.
"I want to say I apologize and I can't bring him back but I can help change some lives with my testimony," Thomas said.
Police say Thomas was the man who pulled the trigger during the armed robbery in January of 2015 -- killing gas station clerk Saeed Sharwani.
"Senseless, brutal violence engaged in by yourself and Mr. Malone for nothing more than money," Judge Lloyd Carter said.
Thomas pleaded guilty to the felony murder charge for Sharwani's death -- and an incident that happened three days before the shooting in Brookfield -- at a 7-Eleven. Thomas told police he fired a gun during that robbery as well -- though no one was hurt.
"Disappointment exists throughout this case. A life was lost and now a young man is going to prison for 45 years," Anthony Cotton, Thomas' attorney said.
Police believe Thomas and his accomplices were involved in at least six robberies in four jurisdictions. Their crime spree touched the communities of West Allis, Milwaukee, the Town of Brookfield and the City of Waukesha.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.