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Madison man sentenced to 15 years after 2018 armed robbery of auto parts store

Jail photo generic.
Jail photo generic.(AP)
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 9:37 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Madison man was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Tuesday after a court found him guilty of armed robbery to an auto parts store in 2018.

According to a news release by the Department of Justice, evidence shown during a February trial showed that 34-year-old Jeremiah Edwards, along with Kanasha Woods, robbed an O’Reilly Auto Parts store on Nov. 8, 2018 in 1826 South Stoughton Road in the Town of Blooming Grove.

Edwards and Woods both held firearms during the robbery and took cash from a safe and cash register. The DOJ said Edwards and Woods fled the scene and drove to the Moorish Science Temple in Madison where Madison Police Department Officers tried to perform a traffic stop with them.

The DOJ continued, saying Edwards then led the police on a high-speed chase through downtown Madison, which ended with him crashing the car and running away.

MPD officers reported that when they searched the vehicle they found “robbery proceeds,” a ski mask and gloves used by Wood. They also found a receipt from Walmart purchasing the ski mask and gloves, as well as a tactical light/laser on the firearm Edwards had used. Officers continued, saying they found a variety of marijuana and THC products.

The DOJ said that in a second search of the vehicle, officers found a loaded 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol. The gun was found in a hidden compartment in the ceiling of the vehicle, the DOJ noted. Wisconsin State Crime Lab analysts testified that the gun contained Edwards' DNA.

The DOJ added that the government showed evidence that four hours after the robbery, Edwards had emptied his bank account at a laundromat one mile from the crash and then used a fake ID to go to Chicago.

Edwards was arrested in Chicago on March 11, 2019.

A jury found Edwards guilty on a slew of offenses on Feb. 13, 2020, including armed robbery to an O’Reilly Auto Parts store, brandishing a firearm during that crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was also found guilty of possessing THC-products with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime. The jury had reached its verdict after seven hours of deliberations, following four days of testimony. The document did not mention any charges for Woods.

At Edwards' sentencing Tuesday, the DOJ said Edwards accused the police, prosecutors and judge of being racist to allow for his conviction. Judge James D. Peterson said that he has “no doubt that Edwards is guilty” and that his crimes committed were serious. Judge Peterson also said Edwards “exploited a confused and vulnerable young woman to be his accomplice.”

The judge also noted that Edwards had a prior felony conviction for robbery.

According to the DOJ, federal law requires a minimum mandatory seven-year and five-year gun sentence to be served consecutively to each other and to the sentence imposed on the robbery charge, the drug charge and the felon in possession charge.

The charges against Edwards and Woods are due to the investigation by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, the Madison Police Department and the FBI.

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