Originally created 12/11/97

Parolee could be behind bars for decades



A parolee who went on a violent crime spree 10 months after his release from prison could be back behind bars for decades following his conviction on multiple charges Wednesday.

A Richmond County Superior Court jury found Willie T. Lampkin, 38, guilty of four counts armed robbery and one count each of aggravated assault, theft by taking and use of a knife during commission of a crime. The armed robbery charges are punishable by 10 to 20 years or life in prison.

Mr. Lampkin still faces kidnapping, armed robbery and rape charges in the June 3 abduction of a woman from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Martinez.

"This case is about identity and who did it," Assistant District Attorney Patricia Johnson told the jury. "That's who did it. He's sitting before you today."

Although Mr. Lampkin's attorney, Jeff Bowman, tried to create doubt by pointing to inconsistencies in victims' descriptions of their assailants, in the end the witnesses convinced jurors that Mr. Lampkin was the only man responsible for a series of crimes beginning May 20.

Mr. Lampkin twice robbed a Subway restaurant at knife-point on May 20 and 26. Less than an hour after the woman was abducted and raped in Columbia County on June 3, Mr. Lampkin allegedly tried unsuccessfully to use her automatic-teller machine card and then robbed a woman waiting to use the machine.

On June 4, Mr. Lampkin entered the Big Lots store on Wrightsboro Road and put a gun to the head of an employee to try to force other employees to open a room where cash was being counted. When that failed, he went up the road to Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers and robbed employees who were forced to their knees at gunpoint.

The crime spree ended the next morning when the manager at the Revco store on Windsor Spring Road saw Mr. Lampkin cutting the store's wiring for telephone and security service.

When arrested June 5, Mr. Lampkin was on parole. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 1993 for a Columbia County robbery. He was paroled in 1996. It was his second robbery conviction. He also received an eight-year sentence in 1989 for a Richmond County robbery. He was paroled the first time in 1991.