Tennessee man given 16+ years for violent EC robbery

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Nathan Lamonte Silver


From staff reports

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Tennessee man has been sentenced to more than 16 and a half years in federal prison following his conviction for the 2017 robbery of an Elizabeth City store in which the business’s owner was also violently assaulted.

Nathan Lamonte Silver, 44, of Clarksville, was sentenced to 200 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Terrance W. Boyle on Thursday, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Silver, who also was sentenced to three years of supervised release, pleaded guilty to a Hobbs Act robbery in November.

According to the press release, Silver robbed the Star One Tobacco and Wine store in the 400 block of N. Hughes Blvd., Elizabeth City, of $2,360 in cash on Oct. 19, 2017. Silver also stabbed and beat up a store clerk — identified in the release as the store’s owner — requiring him to be hospitalized for treatment of severe injuries.

The government’s press release also provides a narrative of how Silver’s robbery of the Star One unfolded.

According to prosecutors, Silver entered the store and walked over to a beer cooler. After picking up a bottle of beer, he immediately dropped it on the floor, shattering it. When he attempted to pay for a second bottle of beer with a credit card, the card was declined. After Silver told the clerk he would be back with some money to purchase the beer, the clerk went to a back storeroom to get a broom to clean up glass from the broken beer bottle.

Silver followed the clerk into the storeroom, where he punched him, knocking him to the floor. Silver then locked the door to the storeroom.

The clerk told Silver to take money from the cash register and leave. Instead, Silver continued punching the clerk in the head, pulled a pocket knife and stabbed it into the left side of the clerk’s neck.

The clerk managed to kick the knife, breaking the blade from the handle, prosecutors said. Silver then tried to stab the clerk on top of his head with the knife handle. He then put the clerk in a headlock, cutting off his air supply.

While Silver was attacking the clerk in the storeroom, an off-duty employee entered the store and heard the clerk yelling for help. The employee kicked in the storeroom door, apparently startling Silver, who released the clerk.

After both the clerk and the employee fled the building, Silver broke into the cash register and stole $2,360 before leaving the store, the government said.

Emergency personnel were called and the clerk was transported to Sentara Ablemarle Medical Center. Because of the severity of his injuries, however, he was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia where he was treated for a throat laceration, head trauma, and a swollen left ear.

Silver was arrested by Elizabeth City police on Oct. 20, 2017. According to prosecutors, he still had the knife handle in his possession but the money stolen from the Star One was gone.

Although enacted to combat racketeering in labor-management disputes, the Hobbs Act, adopted in 1946, has been used to prosecute those accused of extortion or robbery. It’s been used in cases of robbery involving “the unlawful taking or obtaining of personal property from (a) person against his will.”