BEAUFORT, SC (June 24, 2022) – A former fast-food restaurant employee who helped plan and execute an armed robbery of a Port Royal McDonald’s is headed to prison.
Shanya Joanna Higgins, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to armed robbery for her role in the July 15, 2018, incident at McDonald’s at 850 Parris Island Gateway. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“Ms. Higgins and her co-defendant were clearly working together to execute this robbery,” said Assistant Solicitor Jared Shedd of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “He couldn’t have done it without her help.”
Just before 11 p.m., a security camera captured two masked men wearing all black and carrying handguns as they entered the restaurant’s unlocked side door. Higgins purposefully propped open the door after it was locked by another employee, allowing the men to enter the restaurant.
Nightly deposit bags were stolen, and employees were forced into a freezer at gunpoint.
Higgins is one of three defendants charged in connection with the robbery. Higgins’ co-defendant, 25-year-old Levy Larkin Brown, was found guilty in April 2021 of armed robbery following a two-day jury trial at the Beaufort County Courthouse. Brown was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Charges against DeQuan Blue are still pending. He is innocent until proven guilty in court.
Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen handed down Friday’s sentence.
Shedd primarily prosecutes crimes in Beaufort County. He has been with the Solicitor’s Office since 2019.