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Man sentenced to 18 years in state prison

ALBANY — A judge sentenced 23-year-old Kendrick M. Powell Friday to 13 years in prison to be followed by five more years in prison for possessing a gun.

The sentencing by Judge Richard Porter, designated to fill in for an unavailable Dougherty County judge, came after Powell pleaded guilty to armed robbery, aggravated assault and kidnapping of Ahsan Ayaz a convenience clerk on June 25.

“The defendant and the others with him were violent criminals,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Matt Breedon. “They threatened to beat and rob (Ayaz) the week before and they lived up to that threat.”

Before sentencing, Breedon showed a video of Powell and two other men beating Ayaz with handguns and fists at the Johnson Road Neighborhood Grocery Store during the robbery. The two other men indicted for the crime are Gregory M. Harris and Khidyer Najee McDonald.

Despite Ayaz’ opening the safe in the store, the men beat him repeatedly and held a gun to his head almost constantly.

“When they get him inside, not only do they want to get the money but they continue to beat Mr. Ayez for no reason,” Breedon said.

Using a search warrant, police backed up Powell’s guilty plea with evidence such as the blue jumpsuit he wore in the robbery video and the black handgun he wielded during the robbery.

The thieves got away with $11,000, which was never recovered. At first Powell would not say where the money was. He relented and named his girlfriend Angelica Kimbro as holding the cash, the last he knew.

Recorded jail-phone conversations between Powell and Kimbro had already pointed to that, Breedon said. Kimbro faces trial as a party to the crime, he added.

Because Powell had not given up the other two men, Breedon added he saw no reason for leniency.

“He is not giving up the other two,” Breedon said. “It (Powell’s plea of guilty) is not a plea of remorse but regret for the situation he is in now.”

Powell’s grandmother, Gloria Powell, did ask for leniency in her testimony. “He is a good child,” she said. “Decent. Loyal to his friends and family. He is human and humans make mistakes, bad choices.”

Holding his fists to his face, Kendrick Powell cried during his grandmother’s testimony.

Porter did not hand the maximum sentence of life to Powell. He also gave him a concurrent 20 years probation.

After calling armed robbery an epidemic in Dougherty County, Breedon said that the rule in his office is to seek the maximum penalty for the crime.

Ayaz said the penalty the judge handed down satisfied him. He said he hopes that the other two who must face trial are found guilty and given sentences “that the law requires.”