PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A South Philadelphia couple has been convicted of taking their four-year-old son along during a South Street jewelry heist and then leaving him behind during their getaway.

After deliberating for several hours, a Philadelphia jury today found that defendant John Benson grabbed the tray of rings and co-defendant Sheakia Stubbs assisted by holding the door for him as they fled — in different directions.

But the store owner chased Benson, and the jury has now found Benson guilty of attempted murder for slashing the victim’s throat.

Prosecutor Thomas Lipscomb says Benson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 10 years in prison and Lipsomb will recommend more.

“The most serious charge on which Mr. Benson was found guilty is attempted murder. That is a very serious felony.  It carries a maximum of 20 to 40 years total confinement,” Lipscomb told KYW Newsradio today.

Both defendants were convicted of endangering the welfare of their child.  The boy was not physically injured when he was abandoned, and the jewelry store owner, his neck bleeding, took care of the boy before getting medical help for himself (related story).

Benson remains in custody.  Stubbs, convicted of retail theft in addition to the endangering charge, has already served 17 months in custody, above the expected guideline sentence, so she was ordered released immediately.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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