A man who assisted in an armed robbery at a Fredericksburg Sunoco station earlier this year was ordered Wednesday to serve four and a half years in prison.

Timothy Narvaro Tolson, 28, was convicted of robbery in Fredericksburg Circuit Court and was sentenced to a total of 20 years, with all but four and a half suspended, as part of a plea agreement worked out by prosecutor Justin Witt and defense attorney Tim Barbrow.

Tolson was one of two armed robbers that entered the Sunoco at 201 Jefferson Davis Highway the evening of Jan. 3 wearing masks, all black clothing and carrying handguns. The other, 28-year-old Dervon M. Tate, pleaded guilty to multiple charges last month and will be sentenced Sept. 18.

Tate was connected to three armed robberies in that area of the city in January. Tolson was a suspect only in one.

After getting away with more than $1,700, the two men went to Washington to celebrate Tate’s birthday at a strip club.

In exchange for Tolson’s Alford plea, Witt agreed not to seek probation violation charges in Fredericksburg against him. The plea means that Tolson does not admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a conviction. Tolson has a lengthy criminal record in the city and otherwise would have faced considerable comeback time from previously suspended sentences.

Sources said Tolson got the deal in part because he was prepared to testify against Tate had Tate’s case gone to trial.

Tolson is also barred from all Sunocos, Exxons and United banks in the city. Exxon and United Bank were the other businesses Tate was convicted of robbing.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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