July 27, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) - The two surviving members of a group of would-be stickup artists thwarted by a shotgun-wielding Harlem restaurant supply store owner have pleaded guilty to robbery.
Prosecutors say 21-year-old Shamel McCloud and 22-year-old Bernard Witherspoon entered their pleas Wednesday. They're expected to be sentenced to five years in prison on March 11.
They were among four men who tried to hold up the Kaplan Brothers Blue Flame Corp. in August. Seventy-two-year-old store owner Charles Augusto Jr. fired at them, wounding McCloud and Witherspoon; two other men were killed.
McCloud's lawyer, Scott Leemon, called the episode a "drastic mistake" for McCloud. Witherspoon's lawyer didn't immediately return a telephone call.
Augusto wasn't charged. He says he hopes McCloud and Witherspoon aren't punished too harshly and fears prison would "mess them up."