Commonwealth v. Rodney Renaldo-William Lester; Armed Robbery of Dollar General Store by Felon Draws 15 Years in Prison

Friday, October 24, 2014

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Rodney Renaldo-William Lester, 23 years old, formerly of the 5700 block of W. Hastings Arch in Virginia Beach, Virginia, pled guilty and was sentenced yesterday for Robbery (2 counts), Use of Firearm (2 counts), Wearing a Mask in Public, and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.  In accordance with a plea agreement, Circuit Court Judge Stephen C. Mahan sentenced Lester to 55 years in prison with 40 years suspended leaving 15 years to serve.


On the second day of a jury trial in Circuit Court, Rodney Lester decided to plead guilty to the offenses.  The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that late on the evening of May 8, 2013, two employees of Dollar General located at 5013 Virginia Beach Blvd in Virginia Beach were finishing up their closing duties.  As they unlocked the door of the store on their way out, Lester approached them, armed and with a cloth over his face.  He ordered the employees to hand over their cell phones and move back into the store.  He ordered the female employee to get on the ground and the male employee to open the safe.  After the male employee handed over $235, the store alarm was triggered and Lester fled. 


Within minutes of the robbery, Lester was seen fleeing from the direction of the Dollar General.  After a brief pursuit, he was apprehended four blocks away by police. Police found a firearm near Lester and $240 hidden behind a nearby dumpster.  Lester matched the physical description given by the victims and was wearing the same shoes and clothing as the masked gunman.


Lester’s prior record includes convictions for charges of Grand Larceny (2 counts), Destruction of Property (2 counts), Receiving Stolen Goods, Assault (3 counts), Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Appear, and two (2) Violation of Probation charges.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Christopher M. Baker and Brian M. Latuga.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.