DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - A 21-year-old Broward County man received nine consecutive life sentences Thursday for participating in the violent 2008 robbery of a Delray Beach Dunkin' Donuts where another man shot several people.
Charles Luke Faustin of Lauderhill received the life sentences on three counts of attempted first-degree murder and five counts of robbery with a firearm. Circuit Judge Karen Miller also sentenced him on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of firearm while committing false imprisonment.
Faustin's demeanor during his Thursday hearing and his trial last month was a stark contrast to James Herard, the shooter in the case who laughed aloud as his victims testified at his sentencing hearing in August.
Miller had to temporarily stop Faustin's trial when he fell over and began hyperventilating as jurors watched the videotaped statement he made to investigators, saying the plan was never to hurt anyone during the robbery and he was shocked when Herard began shooting.
Amy Morse, Faustin's attorney, said the differences between her client and Herard should have afforded him a lesser sentence.
"His prayers and his heart goes out to the victims," Morse said. "If he could go back in the past and change it he would."
Assistant State Attorney Jill Richstone said that although Faustin wasn't the shooter, the fact that he participated in the robbery as well as other robberies with Herard was enough to earn him the same sentence.
Even after Herard was arrested, Richstone said, Faustin could have gone to authorities in the two days before they caught up with him as well. Instead, she said, he destroyed the gun Herard used in the crime.
"He certainly didn't have remorse at that time," Richstone said.
According to testimony during both men's trials, customers and employees were ordered to get on the ground while Faustin began to remove money from the register while Herard stood by with a pump-action shotgun and two other men began to rob the customers.
Then Herard began shooting. As he fled the coffee shop, he shot through the windshield of a person driving nearby, striking that victim in the face.
Herard, like Faustin, received nine life sentences on 19 charges, including attempted first-degree murder.