A Madison Heights man who robbed a Lynchburg convenience store at gunpoint as part of a false kidnapping setup last summer will spend more than eight years in prison for his role.
Christopher Ryan Doss, 25, pleaded guilty in September to robbery, using a firearm in a felony, grand larceny and petit larceny from the Aug. 17 incident. He’s the third of four accused co-conspirators to be sentenced, while the fourth defendant is awaiting a preliminary hearing next month.
Doss and his codefendant, Dakota Finchum, walked into the Five Star Mart on Memorial Avenue at around 9 p.m. wearing sunglasses and looking at items in the store, according to evidence presented at previous hearings. After standing in line, Doss pulled out what looked like a handgun and demanded money from the cashier while Finchum grabbed a woman in the store and held a knife to her throat.
Authorities said the woman turned out to be Marquetez Fisher, whom the men appeared to abduct when they left the store with about $1,000, according to testimony and evidence. They left in a car registered to Makayla Dodson's mother, and all four ended the night at Dodson's apartment. She is the fourth defendant in the robbery.
At Doss’s sentencing hearing Wednesday in Lynchburg Circuit Court, defense attorney Mark Arthur introduced his client as someone who’s struggled with drug addiction for a long time. He referred to the group as a “band of misfits” that Doss was not the leader of, and said his client was the first to begin cooperating with police.
Arthur asked for a lenient sentence for Doss, with part of it in a drug treatment program.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison said Doss took the lead in drawing the gun and instructing Finchum to hold Fisher at knifepoint. He was the getaway driver, and she added the robbery happened a month after Doss received a suspended sentence for burglary.
Doss also bought an Airsoft gun to rob a store, she said, while the others stole equipment for the robbery from Walmart earlier that night.
“This wasn’t a drug-fueled robbery here, it was thought out,” she said, adding the group rejected other stores to rob that night for various logistical reasons.
Lynchburg Circuit Court Judge F. Patrick Yeatts said he considered the fact that the group ended the night of Aug. 17 with plans to rob another store the next day before he sentenced Doss to eight years and 10 months of prison. After that, he’ll be on supervised probation for two years and need to help pay $1,114 in restitution.
Finchum was sentenced to six years’ active imprisonment in February and Dodson was sentenced to five active years in prison in September. Harrison pointed out neither of them had felony records. Fisher’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11 in Lynchburg General District Court.
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