A 25-year-old Bellingham man who carjacked an elderly North Attleboro woman last year with the intent of using the vehicle to rob a bank was convicted last week in Fall River Superior Court and sentenced to serve five to seven years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Robert Parker pleaded guilty to a multi-count indictment, charging him with armed carjacking, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over the age of 60, burning of a motor vehicle, assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy.
On November 20, 2017, the defendant planned to steal a car to rob a bank in North Attleboro. The defendant entered the Briggs Nursery, where he approached a 78-year-old woman and pretended to inquire about delivering something to the nursery. The defendant then shouted to the woman to give him her car and showed her the butt end of a gun, later determined to be a starter pistol, in his waistband. The defendant pushed her against the garage door and put a knife to her neck, threatening to stab her. The female victim’s 81 year-old husband arrived at the same time, at which point she ran to him, yelling that the defendant had a gun.
The defendant then entered the woman’s vehicle and drove to Bishop Feehan High School, where he abandoned the plan of using the stolen car for the bank robbery. He then set the car on fire with gasoline. An anonymous tip led to the identity of the defendant, which then led to his arrest.
During a sentencing hearing before Judge Raffi Yessayan, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Thompson argued that the defendant’s actions and past criminal history warranted a 10 to 12-and-a-half year state prison term. The defendant, however, recommended a more lenient five to seven year state prison term, which Judge Yessayan imposed. In addition to the prison sentence, the judge also placed the defendant on supervised probation for three years. The probationary period will begin upon his release from prison.
“The conduct of the defendant in this case is outrageous. He imperiled the life of an innocent 78 year old woman to rob a bank and then set her car on fire,” District Attorney Quinn said. “Conduct like this cannot be tolerated and a longer sentence should have been imposed by the court in this case.”