Driver in Marengo Circle K armed robbery gets 13 years

Two co-defendants’ cases pending

Gregory Lee Garner Jr.

The getaway driver, one of three men charged in the 2021 armed robbery and shooting at a Marengo Circle K gas station, was sentenced to 13 years in prison as part of a negotiated guilty plea.

Gregory Lee Garner Jr., 29, of Chicago, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of armed robbery, a Class X felony.

In exchange for his guilty plea, additional counts of armed robbery, armed violence, burglary, aggravated battery and theft were dismissed.

He will receive 287 days of credit for time he served in jail.

Garner, who still was being held in the McHenry County jail Friday, has an unrelated pending Kane County case in which he is charged with robbery and armed robbery in Aurora.

He also has a pending 2018 case in La Salle County, according to an order signed by Judge Tiffany Davis, in which she “recommends” that he be taken to La Salle to deal with that case before being sent to prison.

Garner was charged along with two others in the armed robbery and shooting that left an overnight Circle K employee wounded. Walter R. Moran, 30, of Cicero, and Antonio Pedrote, 28, of Chicago, also were charged in the case.

Moran, also housed in the McHenry County jail and who Davis ordered be kept separate from Garner, is accused of being the shooter, according to court records. His case is pending, and he is due in court Nov. 28.

Pedrote, who is in custody and whose case also is pending, is due in court Nov. 16.

Moran, who turned himself in to Marengo police in September 2021, was charged with three counts of armed robbery, being an armed habitual criminal, aggravated battery with a firearm and armed violence, each a Class X felony, according to the McHenry County indictment.

Pedrote, arrested in May 2021, was charged with armed robbery, armed violence, aggravated battery, being an armed habitual criminal, armed violence, burglary, theft and being a felon in possession of a weapon, each a Class X felony.

Conviction on a Class X felony carries a prison term of up to 30 years.

Moran and Pedrote allegedly robbed the State Street Circle K of $175 and shot an employee, according to court documents.

The employee suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

After the shooting, the wounded employee recounted the incident in an interview with Shaw Local News Network. At the time, he said he was “miserable” after the shooting but grateful for the community’s support.

The gun was about an inch away from the employee’s leg when the shooter pulled the trigger, the employee said.

Officers with the Aurora Police Department at the time said that they thought a string of convenience store robberies from late February 2021 in their city might be connected to the Marengo robbery.