4 sentenced in 2013 robbery, murder of Ga. jeweler

CrimeApr 29, 2015

4 sentenced in 2013 robbery, murder of Ga. jeweler

The men received 30 years behind bars while a fifth man involved, who was the shooter, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.  

Villa Rica, Ga.--Four men plead guilty this week to charges stemming from the 2013 shooting death of retailer Mitch Mobley during an armed robbery at his Villa Rica, Ga. jewelry store.

The Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office said that Raphael Rucker, Bernard Hunt, Greg Clifton and Cranford Phelps entered guilty pleas on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault as well as gangs violations, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. 

All four were sentenced to 30 years in prison. 

Their pleas and sentencing come just months after a fifth defendant, the 16-year-old shooter in the robbery, Eric Billings, entered a plea and was sentenced to life in prison.

The district attorney’s office could not be reached for comment by National Jeweler on Wednesday.

In June 2013, Rucker, Clifton, Hunt, and Billings--who was armed--entered The Mobley Company Jewelers Inc. in Villa Rica, a town located about 30 miles west of Atlanta, and began breaking the display cases in order to grab the merchandise. Cranford, meanwhile, waited outside in a getaway car.

Mobley, who was the owner of the store, confronted the robbers during the act and was shot by Billings. Three of the suspects left in the car while the Billings fled on foot but was later apprehended by police just a short distance from the store.

When police responded to a call regarding the activity at Mobley Jewelers, they arrived to find 45-year-old Mobley dead from the gunshot wounds.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Mobley family was consulted before the pleas were accepted.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Jeff Hunt said, “The final decision of course rests with our office, but we don’t make these decisions without consulting them. They agreed with how we disposed of this case. They were glad it’s over and glad that they’ve all gone to prison.” 

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

EditorsMay 11, 2021
We Need to Change the Way We Talk About Lab-Grown Diamonds

As Pandora moves away from mined diamonds, here’s why the conversation needs to shift from personal preference to consumer education.

ColumnistsMay 11, 2021
The Smart Lab: Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Shopping

Smart Age Solutions’ Emmanuel Raheb touches on the social commerce opportunities available to help grow your business.

SourcingMay 11, 2021
Lucara Secures $220M in Financing to Take Mine Underground

The company has received credit-approved commitments from five financial institutions for the expansion of its Karowe Diamond Mine.

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

IndependentsMay 11, 2021
Halstead Announces Call for 2021 Grant Entries

The bead company awards cash and supplies annually to a new jewelry business.

Weekly QuizApr 29, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 3-7, 2021.
Take the Quiz
EditorsMay 10, 2021
GiGi Ferranti’s Graffiti-Inspired Collection Wows

The Brooklyn-based designer just took initial and heart pendants to a whole new level.

Events & AwardsMay 10, 2021
Register Now for AGA’s Virtual Conference Covering Diamonds

Its annual half-day event will be held on Thursday, June 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

Events & AwardsMay 10, 2021
Diamonds Do Good Is Crowdsourcing a Special Design

The organization is asking designers to interpret growth, unity, and equality through jewelry.