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70 years for convicted robber

Perhaps it was his lucky armed robbery shirt.

Tyrone McGee Jr. was caught partly because he wore the same shirt during armed robberies a year apart.

Detectives noticed the same brown shirt with yellow trim in video tapes taken at stores robbed in Screven County in 2006 and 2007.

That was the way one of them was determined to be him,” said Jack Williamson, the public defender who represented McGee, who is from Waynesboro.

McGee agreed to plead guilty to those two armed robberies plus a third armed robbery in exchange for a sentence of 25 years in jail. But he changed his mind and decided he would rather go to trial. As the trial was about to begin on Friday, he changed his mind again and decided to plead guilty and throw himself on the mercy of the court.

Superior Court Judge F. Gates Peed sentenced McGee to the maximum 70 years in jail.

McGee, 20, will serve a minimum of 30 years before he could be considered for parole, said Ben Edwards, assistant district attorney in Statesboro.

He had an offer earlier for less than half the time,” Williamson said. “He declined it. … The moral of the story is listen to your lawyer.”

McGee pleaded guilty to robbing the Neighbor’s Exxon on Oct. 30, 2006, Rusty’s on Sept. 23, 2007, and Brower’s on Sept. 24, 2007, Edwards said. He got 20 years for each of those pleas, to be served consecutively.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, for which he got five years each, also to be served consecutively.

Those charges stem from a 2007 conviction in Burke County for theft by taking and criminal damage to property, Edwards said.