Man gets life in prison for robbing Wendy’s employee at gunpoint

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – A Boston man convicted of robbing and kidnapping Seekonk Wendy employee more than four years ago was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday, according to the Bristol County District Attorney, Thomas Quinn.

Todd Johnson, 61, was found guilty after a week-long trial, in which prosecutors proved he robbed the victim at gunpoint as she left the fast food in March 2018.

Prosecutors said Johnson demanded the woman give him all her money and forced her to empty her pockets when she claimed she had none.

Johnson stole the victim’s cellphone, then forced her into the restaurant and ordered her to open the safe, prosecutors say.

When the employee claimed she couldn’t because there was a safety timer, prosecutors said Johnson tried to restrain her using zippers.

Johnson took off after the employee told him there were silent alarms throughout the restaurant.

Officers eventually found Johnson hiding under a car parked at Stateline Auto Services and Sales, which is located just over the Rhode Island border in East Providence.

Johnson was charged with armed and masked robbery and kidnapping and was held without bond. But prosecutors said Johnson was released in 2020 due to the pandemic.

After his release, prosecutors said Johnson committed a robbery in Suffolk County and his bail was revoked.

But Johnson would be released again, prosecutors say, and commit another masked armed robbery in Jamaica Plain.

Prosecutors said Johnson had previously served several lengthy sentences for robbery and drug-related crimes, adding that he had a criminal record dating back to the 1980s.

“Defendant is a career criminal who was released on this case during the pandemic, only to commit another armed robbery in Boston,” Quinn said. “The defendant has a long history of armed robbery and this sentence was necessary to protect the public from this habitual criminal.”

Johnson was found to be a “recidivist,” which added to his most recent prison sentence. He will be eligible for parole after 15 years behind bars.

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