, Salem, MA

January 16, 2014

Man gets four to six years in armed holdup


---- — SALEM — A Beverly man who admitted to approaching three men and robbing one at gunpoint in Salem nearly two years ago will spend four to six years in state prison, a judge ordered on Tuesday.

Shawn M. Farmer, 35, formerly of Rantoul Street in Beverly, pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery and two counts of unarmed assault with intent to rob during a hearing Tuesday afternoon in Salem Superior Court.

Judge Howard Whitehead imposed the sentence following a discussion about the facts of the case and Farmer’s record, a discussion known as “lobby conference,” that took place last month, according to court documents.

According to court papers, police were approached late on the evening of Feb. 27, 2012, by an eyewitness who said he had seen several people being robbed by someone with a gun on Derby Street outside Murphy’s, a restaurant and bar. The witness said the robber and three other people then drove away, turning onto Lafayette Street.

Police also spoke to the victim, whose friends had called 911. He said a silver Honda Civic had pulled up and two men jumped out, demanding his wallet. According to police at the time, the victim said he couldn’t see a gun but assumed there was one based on the way one of the men, later identified as Farmer, was holding his jacket.

Police spotted the car near the Prime gas station on Lafayette Street, stopped it and found Farmer and the stolen wallet inside the vehicle.

Farmer has nearly two years of credit toward his sentence, since he’s been in custody since his arrest.

Farmer has a lengthy record that includes prior robbery charges.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.