Wilson Man Sentenced to More Than 9 Years in Prison for Armed Robbery and Shooting During One-Day Crime Spree

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Wilson man was sentenced today to 110 months in prison after stealing a firearm, robbing a man at gunpoint, and shooting at another man all on one day.  On September 2, 2021, Gregory Antawn Joyner pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm as a Convicted Felon.  

According to court documents and other information presented in court, on the morning of September 25, 2020, the Wilson Police Department received information from an eyewitness who observed Joyner, 32, steal a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine from a parked vehicle on Emory Street in Wilson, North Carolina.

That afternoon, as Wilson Police were investigating the firearm theft from Emory Street, they received a call of an armed robbery at the Jubair Mart on Tarboro Street in Wilson. After interviewing witnesses, Wilson Police reviewed the store’s surveillance footage, which showed Joyner robbing a man of $20 at gunpoint and threatening to kill him. Joyner fled the store on foot.

Several hours after the robbery, Wilson Police officers responded to a Shots Fired call on Dewey Street. When officers arrived, they observed Joyner still at the scene. Joyner was armed and again attempted to flee. Ultimately, Wilson Police officers detained Joyner and placed him into custody. On Joyner’s person, officers recovered the stolen .40 caliber handgun. The extended magazine was loaded with 20 rounds of ammunition. Officers also recovered a spent shell casing. 

Multiple witnesses on scene informed police they observed Joyner initiate an armed struggle with a male victim. During this struggle, Joyner discharged his firearm at the male victim, but did not strike him. Joyner attempted to fire a second shot, but the gun jammed and failed to eject the round. At that point, another witness joined the struggle to subdue Joyner and assisted in wrestling the gun away from Joyner. The first male victim successfully secured the firearm from Joyner and attempted to leave in his vehicle. Joyner jumped onto the victim’s vehicle and refused to let go as the victim drove off. Eventually, the victim tossed the handgun back out the window to Joyner, who let go of the vehicle and retrieved the firearm. Joyner attempted to flee the area moments before Wilson Police arrived and apprehended him.

U.S. Attorney Easley commented: “Gregory Joyner was a one-man crime wave. The sentence the Court imposed today was just and fair. Every day that Joyner spends in federal prison is a safer day for the people of Wilson. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina stands ready to assist our local law enforcement partners in protecting the community from violent offenders like Joyner.”

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Michael F. Easley, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The Wilson Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aakash Singh  prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:21-CR-160-BO.