March 15, 2005
Willie James Raven, Jr. to serve fifteen years for robbery and grand larceny
On March 11, 2005, Willie James Raven, Jr., was sentenced to an active term of 15 years in the penitentiary for committing robbery and grand larceny at two Lynchburg dollar stores last August. In addition to his time on these offenses, Raven is also serving time for a robbery in Amherst County and for probation violations in Lynchburg and Campbell County. He will spend the next 25 years behind bars for his August crime spree.
On August 6, 2004, Raven entered the Super 10 store on Florida Avenue and purchased a single bottle of hand lotion. When the register opened, Raven reached across the counter, pushed the cashier aside with one hand, and took nearly $700.00 from the cash drawer before fleeing on foot. The following day, Raven did the same thing at a Family Dollar store on Fort Avenue and got away with close to $300.00. He was apprehended after committing a third robbery at a dollar store in Amherst County on August 13.
As part of a plea agreement with the Commonwealth, Raven appeared before the Lynchburg Circuit Court on January 25, 2005, and pleaded guilty to robbery for the August 6 offense and grand larceny for the August 7 offense.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Bennett asked Judge J. Leyburn Mosby to impose significant penitentiary time, arguing that Raven’s August offenses and criminal past make him a serious danger to the community. Bennett pointed out that Raven’s criminal history began over 20 years ago with minor theft offenses and his crimes have only grown more frequent and more serious since. Raven took the stand at his own sentencing and testified that his 15-year addiction to crack cocaine is to blame.