Armed robber gets 14 years

Published 9:42 am Friday, June 3, 2011

FRANKLIN—Despite pleas from family to spare him jail time, a Franklin man will spend 14 years and two months in prison for holding up two teenagers in downtown Franklin after a Sept. 2 We Be Jammin’ concert.

Tremaine Freeman, 21, learned his fate Thursday in Southampton County Circuit Court after his father, Ernest Gordon, asked Judge Everett Martin for leniency.

“I’m not here to justify anything that my son has done,” Gordon said. “I ask the judge to take into consideration that he is my son, and I don’t want my son to do any time.”

Freeman’s sister, Tanisha Freeman, told the judge how her brother helped raise her. She said he became desperate after watching their mother struggle to make ends meet for 18 years.

“Even though he may have done those crimes, I don’t feel like he’s a bad person,” she said. “Tremaine has been through a lot. He robbed those boys and that’s not right, but he was desperate.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke recommended an 18-year sentence, while defense attorney Jennifer Walsh asked for 11 years.

Cook said the crimes harmed the victims and community.

“These events occurred in downtown Franklin during a community event,” he said. “The event was traumatic to the community. It was traumatic for the young people, who had a gun put in their faces.”

Freeman was arrested days later with a .22 caliber handgun.

“Mr. Freeman understands he needs to be punished for what he did, but he wants the court to understand what he’s gone through and how he got to this point,” Walsh said.

“We’re asking the court to take all this into consideration.”

Freeman apologized to the court.

“I apologize to all who were hurt by my actions,” he said. “My actions were unexplainable and inexcusable. I made the biggest mistake of my life.”