COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus man was found guilty Monday of killing two people during separate robbery attempts.
A Franklin County jury found 27-year-old Trevor Sands, who is incarcerated at a federal prison in West Virginia, guilty of fatally shooting two men after attempting to steal from them in April and May 2017, according to a news release from Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney G. Gary Tyack.
While attempting to rob a man in Canal Winchester on April 24, 2017, Tyack said Sands fatally shot Jeannot Mendy in the back as she to try and grab a knife in self-defense.
Two weeks later, Sands shot and killed 63-year-old Gerald Talley while trying to steal firearms from Talley’s Columbus home, Tyack said. Sands and an accomplice reportedly attacked Talley outside his house, and Talley tried to escape. Sands fired two shots at Talley, and the 63-year-old died on his kitchen floor.
A Gahanna police officer pulled Sands’ vehicle over on May 27, 2017, leading the officer to find a .45 caliber firearm under Sands’ seat that matched the bullet casings found at both murder scenes, Tyack said.
A grand jury indicted Sands in 2020 while he was incarcerated at a federal prison in West Virginia, where Tyack said he continues to serve a 15-year sentence for separate armed robberies.
The Franklin County jury found Sands guilty of four counts of murder, each with a three-year firearm specification, one count of aggravated murder with a three-year firearm specification, and two counts of having a weapon while under a disability, Tyack said.
Sands’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4, where he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 26 years.