A Hempstead man who pistol-whipped and robbed a woman that he was renting a room from in 2020 was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years to life in prison.

Johnny Shorter, 42, was convicted by a jury last month of two counts each of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and menacing a police officer and one count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was found not guilty of a single count of criminal obstruction of breathing.

“Johnny Shorter broke into a woman’s locked bedroom while she was sleeping and violently assaulted and robbed her at gunpoint,” said Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly. “Shorter’s brave victim lured him outside and, after a foot pursuit with a gun drawn and pointed at police officers, he was taken into custody."

Donald Rollock, Shorter's Mineola-based defense attorney, said he would appeal the case, citing, among other issues, the court's requirement that everyone remain masked during the trial.

"We are very disappointed with the sentence," Rollock said. "I thought the sentence was a little bit heavy. But there are other issues the Appellate Court is going to have to take a look at."

Prosecutors said that on Oct. 11, 2020, Shorter entered the locked Hempstead bedroom of his sleeping victim and held her at gunpoint, demanding money that he claimed she had stolen from him.

Shorter then stole credit cards, cash, and other items from the victim’s purse, authorities said. He then continued the assault, shoving the barrel of a loaded gun into her mouth, pistol-whipping her and continuing to demand money, officials said.

The victim told Shorter that she had money in her car and convinced him to leave the home with her, prosecutors said. But once outside, a neighbor heard the noise and called the police. Shorter fled, gun still in his hand, with two police officers in pursuit, authorities said. 

During the chase, Shorter pointed his firearm at the officers but accidentally shot himself in the leg before being apprehended by police.

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