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Getaway driver in ATM robbery gets seven-year term

A Buffalo man was sentenced Tuesday in Erie County Court to seven years in prison for driving the getaway car for two suspects who shot and robbed an ATM cash-delivery driver nearly two years ago.

John Hamilton, 21, of Hilton Street, had pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in the $17,000 holdup Oct. 21, 2013, outside Dinny’s Place on William Street.

He also pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of an assault weapon that police found in his home last year as they executed a search warrant. It was not the weapon used in the robbery.

Hamilton was the last of six suspects to be sentenced by Judge Sheila A. DiTullio.

The shooting left the 58-year-old delivery driver fighting for his life and traumatized his wife, who got a call from the hospital after the shooting and was told her husband was in surgery and might not survive.

But he did survive and eventually testified against the shooter, Ronald Hough Jr., 24, at his trial earlier this year. A jury convicted Hough of attempted first degree murder, first-degree robbery and second-degree weapon possession.

Hough was sentenced last month to 25 years to life in prison, the maximum.

Prosecutors said Hough and his 16-year-old accomplice approached the delivery driver as he sat in a van waiting for his partner to finish filling the bar’s ATM. At Hough’s direction, the teen told the driver to hand over the remaining money.

When the driver threw coffee at the teenager, Hough shot the man in the stomach with a 9 mm pistol, and the two robbers fled; the money was never recovered.

The victim, bleeding profusely, called 911 and gave police information that eventually led to the arrest of Hough and his accomplice.

The teen accomplice got a year in jail and was granted youthful offender status, sealing his criminal record.

Ronald Hough Sr., 54, who recruited his son to do the robbery and planned the crime, got 15 years in prison, and Kenneth Land, 43, who helped Hough Sr., was sentenced to five years behind bars.

William Stroud, 21, got 3½ years in prison for possessing the pistol used in the robbery.

email: jstaas@buffnews.com