Friday, December 19, 2003

Fort Myers, Florida

From the Fort Myers News-Press of December 19, 2003

Motel robber gets life sentence

A Fort Myers man convicted Oct. 2 of breaking into a nun’s motel room and robbing her at gunpoint will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Ernest Major — who was also involved in a motel robbery that ended in a deadly shootout — was sentenced Wednesday by Lee Circuit Judge Lynn Gerald Jr.

Major, 23, was convicted of home-invasion robbery for forcing his way into the hotel room of Sister Carol Andrew, who is an episcopal nun and priest at a convent in Augusta, Ga.

Sister Carol was staying at a Motel 6 in North Fort Myers and visiting relatives in Southwest Florida on Aug. 11, 2002, when Major knocked on her door, forced his way into the room and robbed her.

The heist was one of a string of motel robberies in the summer of 2002 that ended on Aug. 24 with a shootout at a Howard Johnson Express in North Fort Myers.

The shootout left Major’s alleged accomplice, Phillip C. “New Wave” Nelson, dead. Major fled with several bullet wounds but was arrested a few hours later.


The robbery at the Howard Johnson Express went awry when motel guest Steven D. Robey pulled a pistol from under his pillow and began shooting at Nelson and Major.

Nelson collapsed and died at the scene.

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