FALL RIVER — A 23-year-old man will serve five and a half years in prison for violently robbing a Taunton liquor store in 2017 in an incident that saw the store clerk seriously injured with a sawed-off shotgun.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that Billy Morris of both Taunton and New Bedford was sentenced in Fall River Superior Court after pleading guilty last week.

He was indicted on charges of armed assault with intent to rob, assault and battery by discharge of a firearm and unlawful possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

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At around 8:30 p.m. on April 27, 2017, two masked people went into Eagan’s Liquor Store.

According to the D.A.’s office, Morris’ co-defendant, who was a juvenile, pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and demanded money from the clerk.

While the clerk was pushing the gun away from her face, the gunman fired, shooting off the top of her thumb above the knuckle.

She was also hit with buckshot in her side, causing internal injuries that resulted in her being hospitalized for several weeks.

Both Morris and his juvenile co-defendant fled the store after the shot was fired.  

Taunton police were later able to arrest Billy Morris and the young boy based on an anonymous tip and surveillance video footage of the incident, according to the D.A.'s office.

They found clothing seen in the surveillance video and a sawed-off shotgun with the juvenile's fingerprints on it in his closet.

The boy is not being identified, although the D.A.'s office noted that he lived on High Street in Taunton.

He is currently serving a five to seven year prison sentence after pleading guilty in juvenile court in 2019.

Morris will also spend two years on supervised probation after his prison sentence.

“This was an extremely violent incident that resulted in serious injury to the victim, who was just trying to make a living," said Bristol D.A. Thomas Quinn. "Both defendants are a danger to the public and needed to be kept off the street."

“The work done by Taunton Police and our prosecutors on this case was superb," he added. "Their hard work and tenacity resulted in justice for a victim and more security for the people of Bristol County.”

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