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NEW BERN — District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court yesterday, DETARRIO NELSON, 22, of New Bern, and MARVIN BERRY, 16, of New Bern, were convicted of felony charges arising out of the robbery of the KFC restaurant on Neuse Boulevard in New Bern in February, 2019. The pair entered guilty pleas before presiding Superior Court Judge R. Kent Harrell, just before their cases were called for jury trials. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Wareham prosecuted the cases in court.

Shortly after 11:00 p.m. on February 13, 2019, New Bern Police officers responded to a 911 call reporting the robbery of the


KFC in progress. The caller reported that a masked gunman forced an employee into the store at gunpoint, then forced the employee into the office, where the gunman stole cash from the safe. Officers arrived quickly, and saw one person, with a mask and holding a gun and bags, leaving the store. They ordered him to drop the weapon, which he did, and they arrested him. The gunman was identified as Detarrio Nelson, a former employee who had recently been fired. According to witness statements, a second suspect was seen fleeing the scene when 911 was called. With the help of CEMC campus police, that second person was identified as Marvin Berry. In a later interview, Berry admitted that he knew Nelson had a gun, and that Berry was supposed to act as lookout, and that they had discussed the robbery earlier at a family member’s house. Berry, as it turned out, was also a former employee who had been recently fired. Both defendants knew the store’s closing procedures, and where the store’s money was located.


Nelson, who had no prior convictions, pled guilty to all charges against him: Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon; Second Degree Kidnaping; Conspiracy to Commit Robbery; and Possession of a Stolen Firearm. Judge Harrell sentenced him to a prison term of 60 to 84 months.

Berry, who also had no prior convictions, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. He also pled guilty to an unrelated charge of Common Law Robbery occurring just months after he turned 16 years old. Judge Harrell sentenced him to a total prison term of 25 to 42 months; however, in light of his age, the judge included a provision whereby Berry can earn up to 10 months off of his sentence, if he successfully completes a series of rehabilitation, education, and behavioral programs while in the Division of Adult Correction. If Berry fails to complete those programs, he will serve the entire sentence imposed by the Court.