Convicted armed robber sentenced to 60 years in prison

A Harvey man who was convicted last week of six armed robberies was sentenced Thursday (Feb. 25) to 60 years in prison.

Damion Savage, 42, was one of two masked gunmen who robbed four businesses in early 2011. No one was injured. He was charged with six counts of armed robbery, or one count for each of the six employees who were victimized during the spree.

After denying the defense request for a new trial Thursday, Judge Michael Mentz of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Savage to 55 years in prison on each of the six counts. The judge granted prosecutors their request to add five years to each sentence under the state’s firearm enhancement law, because Savaged used a pistol in the crimes. Mentz ran the sentences concurrently, for a total of 60 years.

Savage was convicted of robbing a Marrero Subway store on Barataria Boulevard twice, on Jan. 23, 2011 and on March 6, 2011. He robbed a Subway on Jefferson Highway in Old Jefferson on March 13, 2011, and a GameStop outlet on Promenade Boulevard in Marrero on March 24, 2011.

None of the victims was able to identify the gunmen. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives cracked the case after finding two Newport brand cigarette butts outside the Marrero and Old Jefferson Subways. On both butts, Sheriff’s Office DNA analysts found genetic material belonging Jonathan Isaac, prosecutors said.

The detectives linked Savage to Isaac through cellular phone records that showed the duo had extensive conversations around the time of the robberies, prosecutors said. Further, the detectives determined that the suspects were in the area of the robberies when they happened, by using records from cellular phone transmission towers.

When searching Savage’s Tensas Street apartment, the detectives found caps, a jacket and shoes that were identical to what one of the robbers wore, according to testimony. Savage confessed and was arrested, prosecutors said.

But during his trial, he testified his confession was both coerced and tainted because he was under the influence of heroin at the time. The jury found him guilty as charged on Feb. 19.

Savage is due back in Mentz’s court on May 17, for hearings on his pending charges of possession of heroin, hydrocodone and drug paraphernalia.

Isaac, 54, of Marrero, awaits trial on five counts of armed robbery. He’s accused of being Savage’s cohort in all but one of the Marrero Subway robberies.

Assistant District Attorneys Angel Varnado and Blair Constant prosecuted the case.

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