Violent Taunton Armed Robber Sentenced to Prison

Bristol County District Attorney’s OfficeThomas M. Quinn IIIDistrict Attorney

Press ReleaseJune 7, 2022

A 23-year-old Taunton and New Bedford man arrested in connection to the 2017 violent armed robbery of a liquor store in Taunton which resulted in serious injury to the clerk has been sentenced to serve five-and-a-half years behind bars, Bristol Count District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Billy Morris pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court last week to indictments charging him with armed assault with intent to rob, assault and battery by discharge of a firearm and unlawful possession of a sawed off shotgun. 

On April 27, 2017, at approximately 8:30pm, two masked individuals went into Eagan’s Liquor Store in Taunton.  A juvenile co-defendant in the case pulled out a sawed-off shot gun and demanded money.  As the clerk was pushing the gun away from her face, the gunman fired a shot which damaged her thumb above the knuckle, causing her to lose the top of her thumb.  She also suffered internal injuries as she was also hit with buck shot in her side.  Both individuals fled the store after the shot was fired.  The victim was ultimately transported to Rhode Island Hospital and was in the hospital for several weeks. 

Since both suspects were masked, the victim could not identify them.  However, there was surveillance video in the store that showed the shooting and the general appearance of the individuals.  Later that night, Taunton police received an anonymous tip that the juvenile and Billy Morris were the people who robbed the store.  The police looked up the juvenile in their internal system and learned he lived on High Street in Taunton.  Detectives went to that address and found the juvenile. Police also observed some clothing consistent with the clothing the robbers were wearing in the juvenile’s bedroom. After obtaining a search warrant, police later found the sawed off shotgun in the juvenile’s closet with his fingerprints on it. Based on further evidence obtained, the police then went to Morris’ house and arrested him. Police gathered surveillance video from the stores in Taunton Center and were able to trace the path of the two assailants across Taunton Center.  As they went across town, the two discarded some of their clothing and masks.  Morris’ DNA was found on a pair of sneakers found in the juvenile’s room that are similar in appearance to the sneakers worn by Morris in the video.

The juvenile is currently serving a five to seven year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges in Juvenile Court in late 2019.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Daniel Walsh and the sentence was imposed by Judge William White.  In addition to the incarceration sentence, the judge also placed this defendant on supervised probation for an additional two years.

“This was an extremely violent incident that resulted in serious injury to the victim, who was just trying to make a living.  Both defendants are a danger to the public and needed to be kept off the street,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “The work done by Taunton Police and our prosecutors on this case was superb.  Their hard work and tenacity resulted in justice for a victim and more security for the people of Bristol County.”


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications