Knoxville cousins sentenced to combined 50 years for robbing convenience store, 2 customers

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Two Knoxville cousins have been sentenced to a combined 50 years in prison for robbing a convenience store and two customers in 2014.

Benny Joe Cooper, 46, and Darrell Alfred Cooper, 55, were each convicted Wednesday of two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In a plea agreement, Benny Cooper was sentenced to 30 years in prison without parole and Darrell Cooper was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said on December 6, the cousins entered Breadbox, 3818 Sutherland Avenue, with firearms and their faces covered. The two stole $91 in cash and $100 worth of cigarettes, but before they left, they also robbed two customers at gunpoint, placing them on the floor, taking their wallets and threatening to kill them.

The two ran off, but were followed by a citizen who witnessed the robbery. The citizen called 911 and gave police a description of the vehicle, license plate number and location. Knoxville Police Department officers quickly took the Coopers into custody.

Benny Cooper has 11 prior convictions including six for aggravated robbery. Darrell Cooper has prior convictions for aggravated robbery, burglary and larceny.

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