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Five Defendants Plead Guilty to January 2022 Circle K Armed Robbery State v. Zaire Bue, Shalamar Burkes, Chezney Herndon, Shamya Burkes and Michelle Alexander

January 11, 2024

District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that Shamya Burkes, 18, Michelle Alexander, 18, and Chezney Herndon, 20, all of Brunswick, entered negotiated guilty pleas to Armed Robbery. Two other co-defendants, Shalamar Burkes, 20, and Zaire Bue, 22, also of Brunswick, had previously entered negotiated guilty pleas to Armed Robbery in this case. All pleas were made in Glynn County Superior Court before Judge Stehen D. Kelley. A sixth co-defendant in the case is the only one remaining to be resolved.

The facts of this case would show that on January 19, 2022, just prior to 5am, Glynn County Police responded to an armed robbery call at the Circle K gas station at 4041 Community Road in Brunswick. There they met with the clerk who said three individuals entered the store dressed in dark clothing with masks. One, a male, pointed a handgun at her while a female, took $35 from the cash register. The third individual stood at the door and directed them to also go into the safe and to take the clerk’s phone. However, the safe was inaccessible and the clerk’s phone was not taken. All of this was captured on store security video.

Police recovered surveillance video from a nearby car wash that showed a white Ford Fusion parked for several minutes prior to the armed robbery. The front seat passenger could be seen putting on blue latex gloves similar to the ones worn by the female who took the money from the cash register. Police were able to trace the vehicle registration to the mother of Michelle Alexander. Through quick investigative work, six defendants were identified and arrested within a day. All six confessed to their roles in the armed robbery. Shalamar Burkes was the gunman. His sister Shamya was the one who took the money from the cash register. Zaire Bue was the person standing at the doorway acting as a lookout and directing them to go into the safe and take the clerk’s phone. Chezney Herndon had been in the store earlier just prior to the armed robbery to “case it out” and report how many people were working. Michelle Alexander was the getaway driver who dropped everyone off in a neighborhood near the Circle K and waited for their return.

The sixth co-defendant was the one who came up with the idea for the armed robbery, assigned everyone their roles and provided the handgun to Shalamar Burkes. That co-defendant was also supposed to go into the Circle K, however backed out at the last minute, and waited for them outside the store. Some of the clothing, masks and gloves that were used were later recovered in some bushes at Azalea Place Apartments and on Old Cypress Mill Road. Also recovered was the $35 taken from Circle K which had accidentally been left in the discarded clothing. Police also later recovered the handgun that was used.

Shamaya Burkes and Michelle Alexander, who were 16 years old at the time of the armed robbery, were prosecuted as adults because of the armed robbery charge. They were each sentenced to 7 years in prison to be followed by 8 years on probation. Chezney Herndon was sentenced to 9 years in prison followed by 11 years on probation. Zaire Bue was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years on probation. Sentencing for Shalamar Burkes has been deferred until the conclusion of all the cases. All of the prison sentences have to be served in full with no parole.

Members of the media with further questions may contact the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office at 912-554-7200.