MILTON — Joseph Jeremiah Richard Morgan, 22, of Navarre, will serve 25 years in state prison on concurrent sentences from Escambia County Circuit Judge Jan Shackelford and Santa Rosa County Circuit Judge John Simon for a crime spree spanning both counties, according to State Attorney Bill Eddins.
Authorities convicted him on four counts of principal to robbery with a deadly weapon, one count of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, and two counts of grand theft.
Escambia County cases:
Morgan pled to the charges of two counts of principal to robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, and two counts of grand theft.
Charge: grand theft. On Jan. 27, 2016, Joseph Morgan and his co-defendant Lonnie Locks made arrangements to purchase a PlayStation 4 gaming package on Craigslist. Locks met the victim at Zaxby's restaurant, located at 2640 Creighton Road. He pulled what appeared to be a small black gun from his waist and demanded the game package, wallet, and phone from the victim. Locks then fled on foot but a witness later identified him in a photo lineup. The packaging of the stolen property was in the home of Morgan and Locks and Morgan’s fingerprints were on the packaging.
Charge: principal to robbery with a deadly weapon. On Jan. 30, 2016, 19-year-old co-defendant Lonnie Locks made arrangements to purchase a cell phone on Craigslist. He met the victim at the Circle K located at 2350 W. Michigan Avenue. Instead of retrieving his wallet to pay for the phone, he displayed what appeared to be a firearm in his waistband and began shouting at the victim, demanding his phone. Locks chased the victim back to his car and began beating on the windows, but the victim was able to escape unharmed.
Charge: principal to robbery with a deadly weapon. Locks fled on foot from the crime scene above at the Circle K and then proceeded to the Dollar General Store located at 4940 Saufley Field Road. While dressed all in black and wearing a mask, Locks indicated to the clerk that he had a gun in his coat pocket and stole $273 in cash. Joseph Morgan picked up Lonnie Locks following the two robberies, aiding his escape.
Charge: burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and grand theft. On Feb. 1, 2016, Locks stole car keys from a locker at the downtown YMCA, formerly located at 410 N. Palafox St. Afterwards, Joseph Morgan drove Locks around the parking lot using the key fob to locate the victim's vehicle. Locks then entered the vehicle using the victim's keys and stole his wallet, cell phone and prescription glasses. Surveillance video captured the incident.
Santa Rosa County cases:
A Santa Rosa County Jury convicted Morgan on May 5 for principal to robbery with a deadly weapon. On June 6, 2017, Morgan entered a plea of no contest to the Jan. 22 robbery.
Charge: principal to robbery with a deadly weapon. On Jan. 21, 2016, co-defendant Lonnie Locks entered the Tom Thumb at 2695 Highway 87 S in Navarre just after midnight. Dressed in all black and wearing a mask, he forced the clerk from the back room to the register, where he took $268 in cash, over $500 in cigarettes and the clerk's cell phone. Morgan waited down the street and drove Locks from the scene of the crime.
Charge: principal to robbery with a deadly weapon. On Jan. 22, 2016, co-defendant Lonnie Locks entered the Exxon at 8551 Keshar Taylor Road in Milton dressed in all black, wearing a mask, and brandishing what appeared to be a firearm. He assaulted two people in an unsuccessful effort to find the clerk but was not able to get money from the register. Again, Morgan aided his escape by driving him from the scene of the crime.
Santa Rosa County Circuit Judge John Simon sentenced Morgan to 25 years in state prison for the Jan. 21 and 22 robberies. Both sentences will run concurrently with each other and the Escambia County charges.