Punishment fit the crime

Published 9:35 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke hit the nail on the head during Thursday’s sentencing for a Franklin man who held up two teens after a Sept. 2 We Be Jammin’ concert in the downtown.

Cooke told Judge Everett Martin that Tremaine Freeman, 21, held up the pair during a community event. He said the holdup was traumatic to the community and the kids who had a gun put up to their faces.

Armed robbery has to be one of the scariest things that can happen to a person. For someone to hold a gun to your face and threaten you is enough to make one collapse from fear. Worse yet, suffer a heart attack.

We were surprised at the 14-year sentence Martin handed down despite requests for leniency from Freeman’s family. We were even more surprised that the judge ordered that the sentences for each count be served consecutively and not concurrently. That’s not the norm. The judge made the right call.

We hope that others contemplating armed robbery will learn from Freeman’s lesson. Fourteen years in the slammer for a cell phone and pocket change just ain’t worth it.