Austin Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Robbery and Shooting Convenience Store Employee | USAO-WDTX

AUSTIN – An Austin man pleaded guilty today to participating in the robbery of a gas station convenience store, which resulted in the shooting of an employee of the business.

According to court documents, on October 7, 2020, at approximately 11 p.m., Deon Ross, 36, along with co-defendant Lavante Carter, 19, of Austin, attempted to rob a Shell gas station on Interstate Highway 35 in Austin.  Both Carter and Ross carried firearms and displayed them to two store employees who were working that night.  After demanding money Ross shot one of the employees.

Ross pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by threats or violence and one count of discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 21, 2021 and faces up to 20 years in prison on the robbery charge and 10 years to life for the firearm charge.  

On October 19, 2021, Carter pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by threats or violence and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  Carter is scheduled to be sentenced on December 21, 2021. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the robbery charge and 7 years to life for the firearm charge.  

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas; FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs; and Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon made the announcement.

The FBI and the Austin Police Department are investigating the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gabriel Cohen and Keith Henneke are prosecuting the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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