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Man gets 15-year sentence for violent escape, carjacking at courthouse

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Friday, April 27, 2018

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Blake Rochester, 26, pleaded guilty to common-law robbery, third-degree assault and battery and escape.
 

Blake Rochester, 26, pleaded guilty to common-law robbery, third-degree assault and battery and escape.

 

A Gaffney man received a 15-year prison sentence Thursday after he admitted to escaping from prison and carjacking a woman in front of the Spartanburg County Courthouse.

Blake Rochester, 26, pleaded guilty to common-law robbery, third-degree assault and battery and escape before Circuit Judge Derham Cole. The new prison sentence is consecutive to the 5-year breaking into a motor vehicle prison sentence he was serving at the time of the escape. 

Rochester escaped from the Livesay Correctional Institution during the early morning hours of Sept. 20, 2016. A short time after escaping from the minimum level prison, Rochester approached a woman who parked her vehicle near 205 Magnolia Street.

Rochester told the woman to give him the keys to her car. Rochester grabbed the victim’s purse and began digging for the keys. He punched the woman several times before jumping in her car and driving off. 

The escapee was apprehended by law enforcement hours later in Cherokee County with the woman’s car in his possession.  Rochester’s fingerprints were found in the interior of the vehicle. A surveillance camera from the federal courthouse recorded the crime.

After his arrest, Rochester told police he escaped from prison because he had a newborn he wanted to see.

Rochester’s prior criminal record included convictions for unlawful carrying of a weapon, receiving stolen goods, resisting arrest, possession of meth and criminal domestic violence.

 

 

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