North Carolina man convicted by federal jury in connection with shooting of pawn shop owner

Published 7:48 am Monday, May 8, 2023

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A federal jury convicted Mario Whitted, 28, on April 25, 2023 on charges arising from his shooting of a Fayetteville pawn shop owner as he closed up for the night on November 30, 2019, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

The release stated that the pawn shop owner, who survived the attack, was struck twice in the leg and returned fire with his own handgun.

“Whitted fled the scene and flagged down a Good Samaritan who offered to take him to a local Emergency Room. Whitted instead insisted that he be taken home,” stated the release. “He was later apprehended in South Carolina after having a bullet extracted from his foot which ballistics examiners matched to the victim’s gun. DNA evidence also linked Whitted to the scene after he bled in the Good Samaritan’s car.”

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Whitted was found guilty of being a felon in possession of ammunition, deemed an armed career criminal and now faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced later this year. Whitted has three prior state convictions for common law robbery.

“Today’s verdict puts a career criminal behind bars and makes the Fayetteville community safer,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “Our office will continue to partner with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those driving gun violence around our homes and businesses.”

Easley made the announcement after U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III accepted the verdict. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Fayetteville Police Department and the Cumberland and Robeson County Sheriffs’ Offices investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad Rhoades and Phil Aubart prosecuted.