Sacto 9-1-1
September 19, 2012
Man draws 115-year-to-life sentence for 2010 crime spree

A 31-year-old man has been sentenced to 115 years to life in prison for a string of crimes he committed in Citrus Heights and North Highlands two years ago.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian sentenced James Earl Lawhead under the "three strikes" law, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

On July 25, 2010, Lawhead disguised himself and robbed the manager of the Blockbuster Video store, 7291 Greenback Lane, at gunpoint as the woman walked to the bank to make a store deposit, authorities said. Following a Citrus Heights Police Department investigation, a warrant was issued for Lawhead's arrest.

By then, Lawhead had become a fugitive. When tracked down by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, Lawhead engaged deputies in a two-hour standoff, holding a loaded gun to his head in front of the McDonald's restaurant at 5301 Elkhorn Blvd. The Sheriff's Department's Special Enforcement Detail used tear gas to take Lawhead into custody.

Authorities said the gun Lawhead had in his hand during the standoff had been stolen two days earlier in a burglary where his girlfriend had left a fingerprint.

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