Former substitute teacher gets 16 years for robberies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A former Valdosta substitute teacher was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in federal prison for robbing several Dollar General stores across North Florida and South Georgia from November 2011 to April 2012.

Eddie Battles, 26, was sentenced on eleven counts of armed robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm in the furtherance of a crime of violence, according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley. He pleaded guilty to the charges on June 2013.

Battles started robbing Dollar General stores in November 2011, the first one being a Lake Park, Ga., location where he previously worked as an assistant manager. Using a loaded Hi-Point 9mm pistol, he acted alone in the robberies until March 2012, when his brother Eric Williams started working with him, the release detailed.

Williams and Battles were arrested after a robbery in Welborn, Fla., on April 18, 2012. Williams pleaded guilty for his role in the crimes in August 2013 and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14.

The case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Suwanee County Sheriff's Office, Lowndes County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Talbot.


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