DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Federal, state and local investigators are all trying to find a man who took off from a Volusia County courthouse before he was convicted of armed robbery.
Antonio Gearing was standing trial for robbing a Dollar General store in Daytona Beach in 2018.
Gearing was in court for the entire trial, but when the jury left to deliberate for about 90 minutes, he disappeared.
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Surveillance video captured Gearing calmly leaving court dressed in all black.
An armed robbery conviction was about to come down based on surveillance video, but the man jurors decided was wearing the mask and holding the gun vanished before the verdict could be read.
“He showed up for his court dates throughout the process,” said R.J. Larizza, the 7th Judicial Circuit state attorney. “But I suspect after he sat through that jury trial and watched our prosecutors present their case, he saw the writing on the wall."
The state attorney's office said Thursday it had no indication that Gearing would violate his $75,000 bond.
“He walked out of the courtroom before the jury announced that they had a verdict and actually had somebody pick him up and took off and left,” Larizza said.
Gearing was convicted of robbing a Dollar General store about a half-mile from the courthouse.
The original crime netted Gearing less than $700, but he's facing at least 10 years behind bars for pointing a gun at the cashier.
“We haven't run him down yet,” Larizza said. “But I can tell you that federal, state and local law enforcement are searching for him, and it's only matter of time before he's found.”
The manhunt is on, but the concern is if Gearing pulled a gun in a robbery once, he could do it again now that he's facing a long prison term.
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