Man responsible for Sarasota crime spree gets 2 life sentences

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SARASOTA - A Sarasota judge has sentenced a man responsible for a crime spree through Sarasota to life, twice.

Pele Williams was convicted of Robbery with a Firearm, Principal to Robbery with a Firearm, Principal to Aggravated Battery, and Fleeing to Elude.

The crime spree happened on March 9, 2011. It began around 12:30 p.m., with Williams robbing a woman at gunpoint outside Westfield Sarasota Square, and then traveled north to the Sarasota Pavilion where his co-defendant Melodee Haygood robbed and shot a woman outside of Publix, and ended on Stickney Point Road just west of Swift Road, when the suspects crashed their black Mercedes after a short pursuit with deputies.

Because of his violent history and status as a prison release re-offender, the judge immediately sentenced Williams to 2 consecutive life sentences plus 20 years.

Haygood previously agreed to a 25 year prison sentence. Pele chose to go to court, and on Wednesday the jury convicted him on all counts.