Milwaukee man, woman sentenced to prison after 5 robberies in 3 days

MILWAUKEE — Laura Walton and Deon Batton, both from Milwaukee, have been sentenced for a string of armed robberies at five businesses in a three-day period. Deon Batton was sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison after he pled guilty to committing five armed robberies in Milwaukee and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

A judge previously sentenced Batton’s co-defendant, Laura Walton, to 10 years in prison after she pled guilty to committing five armed robberies and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Neither defendant had a felony conviction prior to their arrest for the armed robberies.

Laura Walton, Deon Batton

According to the Department of Justice, as part of their plea agreements, Batton and Walton admitted to robbing two Subway restaurants, a Cousin’s Subs restaurant, a Taco Bell, and a GameStop store between Oct. 9 and 11, 2017.

During each robbery, one or both of them brandished handguns and pointed them at employees, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

During one of the Subway robberies, Batton discharged his weapon at a security monitor. Under federal law, the discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, like a robbery, requires a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence; brandishing a firearm requires a 7-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.

The criminal complaint states Walton and Batton admitted to participating in the robberies. Walton said the decision to commit the robberies with Batton was mutual, and they targeted restaurants because she had worked in them before and was familiar with how they operated. The complaint states Walton believed the robbery of the restaurants were “petty crimes.”

Batton told investigators he and Walton had been dating for about a week, and committing the robberies was her idea because she “needed the money to pay a  bill.”

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Milwaukee Area Violent Crimes Task Force, the Milwaukee Police Department, and the Milwaukee County District Attorney Investigator’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Margaret B. Honrath.

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