An Amory man found guilty of kidnapping and armed robbery was denied a request for a new trial Sept. 19 by the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Deionta Jontel Ivory was convicted of the counts in Monroe County Circuit Court last June and sentenced by Judge Paul Funderburk to 60 years in the state penitentiary – 40 years with 10 years suspended for armed robbery and 30 years for kidnapping.
Ivory appealed the ruling.
Following a four-day trial, a jury determined that on Dec. 18, 2016, Ivory kidnapped two teenagers in Amory and robbed one of them at gunpoint. The victims were able to identify Ivory as the assailant, and he was arrested by the Amory Police Department at Food Giant and charged shortly after the incident.
Ivory forced entry into a vehicle at Subway and made two juveniles drive him to an ATM and Highway 278 Chevron.
According to the female victim’s testimony, stated in court documents, Ivory tapped on the vehicle’s window while it was running idly at Subway and asked the two teenagers for food. Court documents state he exhibited a firearm and said, “This is a robbery.”
Her testimony continues to state he entered the back seat and asked the driver to take him to the bank to get $300. Court documents state the driver continued to a bank, but no money was withdrawn.
After continuing to drive on Highway 278, her testimony indicated Ivory asked the driver to stop at the Chevron station to buy him a pack of cigarettes. The male entered the store first and a short time later, Ivory asked her to go inside and tell the other teenager to “hurry up.”
The store clerk called 911 about the incident.
The male victim’s testimony indicated Ivory asked him to give him all of his money, which was $6. Court records state later after the female victim entered the Chevron, Ivory exited the vehicle and left the scene.
Ivory’s defense argued his alleged speech impediment, according to court documents. The victims and an Amory Police Department investigator said they never noticed any abnormal speech issues during the incident or investigation.
Court documents state Ivory went to Food Giant twice the night of the incident, and he testified he was at a friend’s house before going the first time. His testimony continued to state he went to Moore Manor to purchase marijuana between the two Food Giant trips.
When he was searched by police officers at Food Giant after his second trip, they found marijuana in his sock, according to court documents.
He testified he told police, “I didn’t rob anybody,” because he was aware an incident happened at Chevron. His testimony stated he claimed to have seen police cars at Chevron while driving to Food Giant the second time and speculated it had been robbed.
His testimony also stated he was aware of an incident at Subway because he heard about it from other people.
The state maintained no new trial should be ordered because the verdict is supported by the weight of the evidence that the two victims identified Ivory as the perpetrator, according to court documents.
Court records indicate Ivory admitted to being near the scene of the crime at the time of the incident and he was wearing clothing matching the suspect’s description.
Ivory’s tentative release date is June 22, 2077.