A Taylorsville man will spend up to 180 days total in the Tooele County Detention Center for his role in the robbery of the Tooele Maverik convenience store.
Helamen Tuakalau Makalio, 26, was sentenced to 180 days in the county jail, with credit for 31 days served, for second-degree felony robbery during a hearing Tuesday in 3rd District Court. Makalio pleaded guilty to the amended charge last Sept. 11, while charges of second-degree felony aggravated assault resulting in bodily injury and misdemeanor theft were dismissed with prejudice.
On Aug. 15, Tooele City police and Tooele County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Maverik convenience store in Tooele on reports of a robbery, a probable cause statement said. Upon arrival, police administered aid to a store clerk who had been severely beaten.
Police were told four individuals entered the store, took beer and then left without paying for it, the statement said. The clerk had gone outside to get the suspect’s license plate number and claimed he was punched several times, breaking his nose and knocking out several of his teeth.
A witness followed the suspects’ vehicle to a Tooele City residence, where they observed part of the suspect group exit the vehicle and the remainder leaving, the probable cause statement said. A search warrant for the home was executed and Makalio and Suliasi Niulala Vakalahi were identified by those residing in the home.
The co-defendant in the case, Vakalahi, 25, of Bountiful, pleaded guilty to an amended count of third-degree felony aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury on Oct. 9. Charges of first-degree felony aggravated robbery and misdemeanor theft were dismissed with prejudice.
Vakalahi’s prison term of up to five years was suspended and he was sentenced to 36 months probation. He was also required to complete 50 hours of community service and restitution in the case was to remain open for one year while they await the victim’s reparation on hospital bills.
Vakalhi was also fined $1,500 plus interest and given credit for 33 days previously served in the jail.