Former New York man convicted of store-owner shooting

Julius Rooks, 29

BEAUFORT, S.C. — A 29-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for shooting a St. Helena Island convenience store owner during an attempted robbery.

A jury found Julius P. Rooks, formerly of Ithaca, N.Y., guilty of attempted robbery, assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime following a two-day trial at the Beaufort County Courthouse.

The owner of the Island Plaza on Sea Island Parkway was shot in the chest by an armed man while working behind the cash register on Dec. 23, 2009.

“Mr. Rooks had the audacity to attempt a robbery and shoot a store owner, unmasked, and then remained on the run for years,” said the case’s prosecutor, Assistant Solicitor Hunter P. Swanson. “Justice was finally served.”

Rooks’ sentence was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Roger L. Couch.

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