Benton Harbor Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Robbery, Sentenced to Minimum of 8 Years in Prison

On Monday August 5, 21-year-old Curtis Wayne Hankton was sentenced to 8 to 20 years in prison for two armed robberies he pleaded guilty to; he will serve these terms concurrently after being sentenced by Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge J. Richardson Johnson.

Hankton participated in two armed robberies which took place on January 18 and January 22 in Kalamazoo, one in the Westwood neighborhood and one at an apartment complex, according to a news article at The robberies were called ‘violent,’ as one woman was allegedly raped and beaten, and another man shot in the stomach. Hankton also pleaded guilty to felony use of a firearm.

In the January 18 incident, a man was confronted by an armed individual as he was leaving his home late in the evening. A struggle ensued, and shots were fired, one hitting the victim in the abdomen. Despite his injuries he was able to disarm the suspect. A second armed suspect then came along, assaulted the victim, and took away the gun the victim had recovered from the first suspect. In the commission of the crime, two cell phones were stolen.

The January 22 incident occurred at Big Bend Apartments when Hankton and two other men broke into an apartment, severely beating and sexually assaulting the female resident before kidnapping her and dropping her off at a hospital. The two men involved in the incident with Hankton were identified as Danny P. Vinson and LaFunta Summers. Vinson is scheduled to be sentenced next week after being convicted of first-degree home invasion, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, armed robbery, and other crimes in July.

Hankton had no prior criminal history before the armed robberies he pleaded guilty to, and apologized profusely as he broke down and cried at his sentencing hearing, saying, “I’m sorry, I’m not a bad guy.” Hankton’s attorneys said that he had met Summers and Vinson through Benton Harbor’s Boys and Girls Club, and that the two men were mentors.

Michigan armed robbery attorneys realize the tragedy in this situation, and that a young man’s life has potentially been ruined because of his mistakes in choosing to participate in crimes with men he considered his mentors.

Any individual who has been accused of armed robbery, home invasion, criminal sexual conduct or any serious or violent criminal offense must obtain the legal guidance and support of a talented Michigan criminal defense lawyer.

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