UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A Dallas man has been given a lengthy sentence after pleading guilty to an aggravated robbery in Upshur County.
On Dec. 4, Gerald Michaul Hiam, 30, of Irving entered a guilty plea to a charge of aggravated robbery. Hiam chose to have a punishment trial.
On Tuesday, a jury returned a 75-year verdict and an additional $10,000 fine.
According to the Upshur County District Attorney, on April 17, 2017, prior to 6:00 a.m., Hiam entered a Texaco West store on Highway 154. He ran to the counter in a ski mask, holding a handgun and pointing in the face of the clerk, all while demanding money from the register. Before running out, he took the victims cell phone and threw it against the wall, causing it to shatter.
The victim recognized Hiam and picked him out of a photo-lineup. He had been in the store two days prior when she offered him a hamburger at her local church for Easter.
After using the proceeds to purchase a large quantity of heroin, he drove to the Dallas areas where he continued his crime spree. At Coppell High School in Dallas, he found a 15-year-old male student waiting for his mom after the end of the school day. He approached the child, displayed a handgun, and demanded his wallet and cell phone.
Then, on April 19, 2017, he circled the Target parking lot in Dallas until he found a young mother removing her child and stroller from her car. He drove up, pointed the gun at her, and demanded her phone and wallet. He was later found and taken into custody by the Dallas Police Department.
The D.A. says that the jury also heard evidence that in 2009 Hiam presented himself at an apartment as a repairman. When the door was opened, he ran inside and put a knife against the victim's throat and stole jewelry and property. The defendant was sentenced to seven years in prison for that Aggravated Robbery offense.
The jury heard evidence that this defendant had five prior felony convictions along with multiple misdemeanor convictions.
The defendant testified that he had committed multiple crimes in which he had not been caught.