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Jury convicts man of robbing cell phone store at gunpoint

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A 38-year-old man who robbed a cell phone store at gunpoint has been found guilty of robbery, carjacking, and multiple gun crimes, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

After just an hour of deliberation, a federal jury in Dallas on Friday convicted Michael Tremaine Schexnayder of one count of interference with commerce by robbery, one count of carjacking, one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to evidence presented at trial, around 10:45 a.m. on July 16, 2019, Mr. Schexnayder entered a Grand Prairie T-Mobile store, armed with a small black pistol. After milling around for a few moments, he suddenly approached two employees and a customer, pointing his gun in their faces.  He demanded they hand over personal possessions – cell phones, watches, cash, and car keys – and then ordered staff members to open the safe in the back of the store.

Surveillance video shows defendant Schexnayder pointing a gun at a TMobile employee.

Terrified, one of the employees, an assistant store manager, explained that the safe was on a time delay, and would not open for a period of several minutes after she input the code. The employee testified that Mr. Schexnayder, who apparently did not believe her, grew agitated, and forced her instead to empty the till into a garbage bag. He then demanded that the same employee surrender her car keys and describe her vehicle, a boxy white Toyota Scion.

With their property in tow, he fled the store.

Employees and customers then barricaded themselves in the back of the store and the assistant manager dialed 911. Within moments of police’s arrival, the assistant manager noticed her vehicle was missing, as was her iPhone. 

With the assistant store manager’s permission, officers quickly began tracking her phone, located the vehicle, and gave chase. An officer observed the driver run into a wooded area as the Toyota rolled to a stop. Officers later found Mr. Schexnayder lying in the woods, dressed in the same clothing robbery witnesses had described. A short distance away, they found a small black pistol stashed under a pile of wood.

Mr. Schexnayder now faces up to 52 years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for October 15, 2021.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Tromblay and Lindsey Beran are prosecuting the case. U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay presided over the trial.

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