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Man pleads guilty to assisting with fatal 7-Eleven robbery

Investigators say a 7-Eleven employee was killed during a robbery. Both of the men involved have now been sentenced to prison.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Mecklenburg County judge sentenced a man to prison after he pleaded guilty to assisting in a robbery that left a 7-Eleven employee dead in southwest Charlotte. 

On Thursday, Treyvonte Lockhart, 33, appeared in court and pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a robbery with a dangerous weapon. A judge subsequently sentenced Lockhart to 15-27 months in prison for the charge.

According to police, Lockhart assisted with a fatal robbery on Dec. 9, 2017 at a 7-Eleven on Westinghouse Boulevard.

Lockhart was with Geoffrey Ford, 49, and drove the getaway car after Ford shot and killed Khaled Elmerkabaoui, a 55-year-old 7-Eleven employee, on that day around 3:30 a.m. 

RELATED: Three teens accused of armed robbery, CMPD says

Police were not sure why the robbery ended with a shooting. By their account, Elmerkabaoui was compliant with the robbery suspect.

Investigators noted that they were familiar with Elmerkabaoui and he was kind to them when they would come into the store.

“He was very gracious to us,” a CMPD captain said at the time. “He gave us coffee when it was cold.”

Within a few weeks, officers tracked down and arrested both Lockhart and Ford.

Both were charged with murder, robbery, and conspiring with a robbery. 

After years of litigation, Ford pleaded guilty to the murder of Elmerkabaoui. He was sentenced to 25-31 years in prison, according to prison records. 

Credit: Mecklenburg County jail records
Geoffrey Ford

RELATED: Charlotte mom warns other parents of possible kidnapping attempt at HomeGoods store

Lockhart pleaded guilty to the conspiring with a robbery charge, prompting his sentencing on Thursday.

Credit: Mecklenburg County jail records
Treyvonte Lockhart

Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots. 

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.
WCNC Charlotte is choosing to show the mugshots of the suspects in this case because Treyvonte Lockhart and Geoffrey Ford were convicted in court.

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