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Investigator describes three shots fired during convenience store robbery
Man accused of $10,000 robbery
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Gainesville Police Department Detective Erin Escalante testifies Thursday morning in Hall County Magistrate Court during a committal hearing for Eric Newsome. Newsome is accused of fighting with a clerk and firing off a couple of rounds amid an alleged armed robbery at the Quick Serve on Athens Street on Oct. 7.

A Gainesville man told a convenience store employee “her life was going to end” while trying to rob the business, a police investigator testified Thursday.

Eric Kawan Newsome, 37, appeared in Magistrate Court to answer to charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Gainesville Police investigator Erin Escalante testified Thursday about responding Oct. 7 to the Athens Street Quik Serve. The cashier was being seen by the medical unit.

“She did have a head injury, and she was bleeding from the right side of her head,” Escalante said.

The cashier told police that she was confronted by a black male demanding money and showing her a gun.

“She started screaming and she said she heard a gunshot go off over her head,” the investigator said.

The cashier fell to the ground, when Newsome allegedly pulled her up, demanded money and “told her that her life was going to end,” Escalante said.

Because she couldn’t get the cash register to open, she reached and gave the man a sum of $10,000.

When questioned by defense attorney David Hoffer as to why that sum of money was at the store, Escalante said the business is also a cash-checking establishment.

Escalante said the suspect fired two rounds into the air and one shot next to the victim “while she was on the ground while the defendant was standing over her.”

Much of Hoffer’s cross-examination focused on how police identified his client as the suspect in the armed robbery.

The victim told police she recognized Newsome from cashing his check from Fieldale Farms.

Another Gainesville Police investigator went to Fieldale’s human resources and pulled 136 photocopies of black men who “had been either fired or quit since January 2016,” Escalante said.

“She sat and went through all the papers, and she identified Mr. Newsome as being the only person that entered the building,” the investigator said.

The business also had audio and video recordings that showed the suspect wearing a black jacket. Police later executed a search warrant at a residence on Triple Creek Bend.

“We lifted up the mattress and found a large sum of money under the mattress,” Escalante said. “Next to the mattress, up against the wall, we located a firearm, which was loaded.”

The judge sent the case on to Superior Court.

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