Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Brent Paterline

Second Advisor

Professor Matilda Foster


On March 21, 2000, 15-year-old Alonza Thomas ran away from home. During Alonza’s time away from home, he met a man and went to his apartment. Alonza stayed at his apartment for a couple of days (McNally, 2018). The man cooked for him and gave him a place to sleep. Alonza tried to go home, but the man became irrational and approached Alonza with a gun, stating “You think you’re gonna eat my food for free? Live in my house and just walk out? And think things come free like that? No, you’re gonna have to rob this store. ...You’re gonna do this for me” (McNally, 2018). Fearing for his life Alonza did as he was told; he went to the Fastrip gas station and placed a gun at the clerk's chest. Alonza held his gun the way he saw actors hold their gun in movies such as “Menace II Society” and Boyz n the Hood.” He told the clerk to empty the register. The clerk hit his hand on the glass and the gun discharged. Alonza tried to make a run for it, but the store clerk leaped on top of Alonza and began beating him. The clerk and other workers held Alonza at gun point until the officers arrived. Alonza was charged with three counts of second-degree robbery, one count of assault with a firearm and enhancements for personal use of a firearm (McNally, 2018).

Included in

Criminology Commons