Poker player pleads guilty to robbery

Mar. 05, 2013 @ 07:21 PM

A man who lost his rent money playing poker and then robbed a couple in a grocery store parking lot pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of common law robbery.

Timothy Lamont Goodwin, 36, of Durham, entered into a plea agreement in Durham County Criminal Superior Court. The plea agreement called for him to be sentenced to 14 to 26 months in prison, but the sentence was suspended, and he was placed on supervised probation for three years. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail, and must pay the victims $905.84 in restitution, obtain drug and mental health assessments and get treatment if recommended.

The robbery occurred Aug. 4, 2012  in the parking lot of the Food Lion on West Main Street, said Assistant District Attorney Jim Dornfried.

A couple had gone to the store to get money orders, and when the man came out of the store, Goodwin approached and asked him for a light for his cigarette. The man’s lighter didn’t work, and Goodwin threatened him and said he had a gun.

Goodwin was holding something s wrapped up in a shirt that made it look like he had a gun, Dornfried said.

The robber stole $850 worth of money orders and $20 from the man, and $24 from the woman.

A witness told police he thought the robber looked like his cousin, and eventually police found a picture of Goodwin and showed it to the victims, who identified him as the man who robbed them.

When police arrested Goodwin, he told them he had been out playing poker the night before and had lost his rent money, Dornfried said. His girlfriend threatened to leave him if he didn’t pay the rent.

So he went to the Food Lion, picked up a stick and wrapped it in his shirt to make it look like he had a gun, and robbed the couple.

Goodwin was given credit for the 20 days in jail he spent in jail before he could make bond.