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Guilty as charged

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Hardyway faces up to 50 years for attempted murder
Hardyway.jpg

A district court jury has found Steve Devon Hardyway guilty of attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery of the Subway restaurant on West California Avenue.

The verdict was rendered Friday afternoon after four days of testimony during which Hardyway’s cousin and accomplice identified Hardyway as the perpetrator in the Nov. 4, 2015 incident.

Hardyway shot a female employee more than six times and stabbed her 35 times after hitting, kicking and pistol-whipping her for 30 minutes in effort to get her to open the store’s safe.

Sentencing for Hardyway is set for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 3.

He faces up to 50 years hard labor on the attempted first-degree murder charge and 10-99 years on the armed robbery count.

Lewis Jones, chief felony prosecutor with the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said he intends to further charge Hardyway as a habitual offender.

That would up Hardyway’s possible sentence on the armed robbery charge to a maximum of 198 years.

Hardyway has prior felony convictions from 2013 for simple burglary and simple criminal damage to property valued at over $500.

He also has another pending simple burglary charge.

Hardyway had worked at Subway until the Friday before the incident.

The entire incident, including audio, was captured on the restaurant’s video camera and was played for the jury.

Evidence presented at the trial showed Hardyway entered the sandwich shop after closing on Nov. 4.

Although he was wearing a mask, the female employee — the only person in the restaurant at the time — recognized his voice, as well as his shoes and shorts as being one he wore to work, Jones said.

Hardyway attacked the employee, trying to get her to open the safe.

But the keypad had been knocked off and she was unable to get the safe open, Jones said.
That’s when Hardyway made her lie face down in the drive-through area, stood over her and shot her six times — the number of bullets he had in his gun.

When Hardyway ran to the back door to get another gun from his accomplice, the victim got to her feet and tried to make it to another door.

But before she could escape, Hardyway returned, shot her again and proceeded to stab her.
He had his accomplice then ran out the back door, leaving the woman for dead. The victim was able to call police.

She survived and identified Hardyway during the trial.

Hardyway’s accomplice was also charged with armed robbery, entered a guilty plea and testified against Hardyway.

Authorities are not identifying the accomplice because of threats made against him, Jones said.

Investigators were able to recover Hardyway’s bloody shorts and shoes at his grandmother’s house in Grambling. Both his DNA and the victim’s DNA were found on the shorts, Jones said.

District Attorney John Belton applauded the efforts of all law enforcement involved in the investigation.

“Particularly, we would like to note the work of Lt. Henry Wood, Captain Eric Hanna and Sgt. Marchale Canty of the Ruston Police Department and Sgt. J. D. Driskill of the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office,” Jones said in comments issued on behalf of the DA’s staff. “Their efforts, along with other local law enforcement officers lead to the arrest and conviction of both individuals involved in the commission of these crimes.”

Jones also thanked the jurors.

“Without them, our system of criminal justice simple would not work,” he said.
Assistant District Attorney Tracy Houck also helped prosecute the case.

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