Father-to-be left fearing for his life when robbers hold gun to his head

PORTER, Texas (KTRK) -- A clerk, who had just learned he was going to be a father, was left fearing for his life when he was robbed at gunpoint.

The crew responsible for the crime is tied to more than two dozen violent robberies, happening over just six weeks. The last of the four suspects was just sentenced to life in prison.

Aug. 23, 2018 was a big day for Donavon Chittenden and his family.

"We'd been trying for roughly a year or so to have my daughter," Chittenden said.

It was that morning that he and his wife went to the doctor and got to see their baby girl for the first time. The ultrasound brought the father-to-be to tears.

"You could hear her heartbeat at certain points and I started tearing up," said Chittenden.

Elated, Chittenden headed off to work that night at the Phillips 66/Circle K convenience store on FM-1314 in Porter.

"It was a normal night shift. Nothing really had changed," said Chittenden.

Then, around 2:30 a.m., robbers went inside the store, terrorizing Donavon and threatening to shoot him.

As a gun was pointed to his head, one thing was on his mind.

"The only thing that really went through my mind was, at least I got to see my daughter before I died," said Chittenden.

They took off, only to commit another robbery at an adult bookstore in Harris County half an hour later. A clerk there was also sexually assaulted.

"One of the individuals was identified and caught. He confessed and implicated the other three," said Rob Freyer, Assistant District Attorney, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

Then the case unraveled. The ATF and HPD were able to link the suspects, including Marquis Clark, to 30 robberies. They had the same M.O.

"The clothing was often repetitive. For instance, Marquis Clark would often wear a mask that looked like skull teeth, he wore red gloves," said Taylor Teissier, assistant district attorney, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

Clark was just sentenced to life in prison on Friday by a Montgomery County jury, Cameron Lucas plead to 30 years, Trenton Jackson plead to 40 and LaCharles Craige plead to 50.

Donavon's daughter is 1-year-old now. They just celebrated her first birthday a couple weeks ago.

"She's awesome. I love being a dad," said Chittenden.

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