Autravious Gaston was sentenced to three life terms plus 105 years for a multitude of charges arising from a 2015 armed robbery, kidnapping and sexual battery case. Judge Jim Kitchens handed down the sentences Friday morning in Lowndes County Circuit Court.
The jury found Gaston guilty on all counts Thursday evening after about 90 minutes of deliberation.
Gaston, 36, faced two counts each of kidnapping, armed robbery and sexual battery, as well as one count each of grand larceny and possession of a weapon by a felon. He was accused of robbing the Military Road Sprint Mart in February 2015, sexually assaulting two employees and then driving one of the victims to West Point in a stolen car, where he allegedly sexually assaulter her again. He was arrested in West Point by the West Point Police Department a few hours later.
Gaston said that he was a different person then because his drug addiction had taken over his life.
“The 36 months I’ve spent in the county jail have been the worst of my life,” he said. “I was so far out there on drugs that I sold my $7,000 car for $150. I was sleeping in the dirt in the park. I needed help, and I didn’t know how to reach out for it so the devil took over my life.”
Gaston said he wanted to write a book about his experience to help others facing the same problems.
“Drugs took over my life and I couldn’t shake them,” he said. “I tried but it didn’t happen.”
Kitchens told Gaston that he was concerned about what would happen once he got out of prison.
“You showed no remorse,” he said. “Your behavior has escalated. You had an attempted armed robbery charge in 1999, and now you’re here for armed robbery, kidnapping and sexual assault. My concern is that next time you won’t leave anybody alive to be a witness.”
Kitchens sentenced Gaston to three life sentences: two for the armed robbery charges, which will run concurrently, and one for the first kidnapping charge. He was sentenced to 30 years on the second kidnapping charge, as well as 30 years each for the two sexual battery charges, 10 years for possession of a weapon by a felon and five years for grand larceny. All of the other charges are to run consecutively.
“I’m sorry that drugs took over your life, and I’m sorry that you couldn’t see the humanity in these two women,” Kitchens said.