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Three Given State Sentences for Robbing Bensalem Sprint Store

March 13, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robert D. James, 215.348.6332, rdjames@buckscounty.org

Tijai Frazier Tyrek Truitt Frazier Keenan Cherry
          Tijai Frazier              Tyrek Truitt Frazier            Keenan Cherry

Three young Philadelphia men who robbed a Sprint mobile phone store in Bensalem last spring have been sentenced to serve 33 months to six years in state prison each.

All three will be screened for eligibility for a state boot camp program because of their young ages and lack of significant prior records, Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Rea B. Boylan said during the March 1 sentencing.

Boylan rejected defense arguments for lighter sentences because of the planning that went into the robbery and the dangerous nature of the crime. Two rounds were inadvertently fired during a struggle over a handgun belonging to the store manager.

“The victims clearly were terrorized,” the judge said.

Tijai Frazier, 22, Tyrek Truitt Frazier, 25, and Keenan Dante Cherry, 25, all pleaded guilty to robbery, conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking and several lesser charges.

On May 12, 2017, all three were captured on surveillance video buying zip ties, gloves and batteries at a Lowe’s home-improvement store in Philadelphia.

The next morning, another video camera recorded the three arriving early in a black Chrysler outside a Sprint store at 2110 Street Road, Bensalem. After watching store employees arrive, the three entered the store with a BB gun, zip ties, a knife, a large duffle bag and a backpack.

Tyrek Truitt Frazier brandished the BB gun while Tijai Frazier zip-tied the two employees’ hands behind their backs. The robbers ransacked the store, taking about 10 cellular phones worth more than $2,000, the store manager’s watch and about $100 from the cash register.

The manager had a small handgun concealed at his hip. When Tijai Frazier discovered it and tried to grab the gun, the manager freed his hands from the zip ties and struggled with Frazier.

During the struggle, the gun discharged twice before Frazier wrested it away and the robbers fled.

Officers responding to the robbery soon found Tijai Frazer hiding under a vehicle after the other two drove off without him. He identified the other two in an interview with police.

When questioned by Boylan, none of the men offered an explanation for why, after living relatively crime-free lives, they decided to commit the robbery.

Truitt Frazier’s attorney, Michael Diamondstein, called the robbery “stupid,” saying his client was “raised better than that” and had a reputation for being respectful, obedient and helpful to his neighbors.

“This could have ended up a lot worse, because they didn’t know that one of the victims had a gun,” Diamondstein said. “What are they going to do with a BB gun? They might as well throw a rock.”

Diamonstein urged Boylan to “err on the side of hope” in sentencing Truitt Frazier.

Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James argued against leniency, saying Truitt Frazier had a good job, earned $1,500 per week, owned three cars and had amassed nearly 59 college credits toward a career as a medical assistant.

“He had everything going for him,” James said. “There is no reason for this crime to be committed, except for greed.”

Cherry’s attorney, David Walker, said his client grew up with a low I.Q., learning disabilities, and no father figure, yet had never before been in trouble. He said Cherry didn’t appreciate the seriousness of his crime until he heard the gunshots go off.

“I can’t give no excuse,” Cherry said, adding that “if given a second chance, I would be a better person.”

Tijai Frazier’s attorney, Marc Stolee, said his client had cooperated with police as soon as he was caught, directing investigators to the discarded handgun and giving information about his accomplices.

Frazier’s mother, Melissa Sullivan, told Boylan that her son had never been in trouble, and that when he called to tell her about his arrest, “I thought it was a prank. He said, `Mama, I don’t know what came over me.’”

Boylan said she wanted the men screened for the boot camp program to help them understand the seriousness of their crimes and to come to terms with why they committed them.

If not for their relatively clean pasts, the judge said, “we would be talking about a five-year sentence.”

The case was investigated by the Bensalem Township Police Department.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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