The getaway driver who aided an accomplice in a string of armed robberies in South Carolina and Georgia has been sent to prison, but with a significantly reduced sentence due to his cooperation with police.

Saul E. Saylors, 31, of West Columbia, was sentenced to serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted armed robbery. Saylors was originally charged with armed robbery but pleaded to the lesser charge as part of a negotiation.

“I’m taking into consideration your cooperation, I’m taking it very seriously,” Circuit Court Judge Robert Hood said. “If not for it, your sentence would be severe.”

The robbery was of a check-cashing store in North Augusta that happened on Oct. 31. Saylors drove Roddy Lee Mauzon to the Edgewood Drive store, whereupon Mauzon entered with a black handgun and demanded cash. The two continued this operation at seven or eight other stores in Aiken, Lexington and Kershaw counties in South Carolina and Richland County in Georgia, according to Assistant Solicitor David Miller.

Mauzon and Saylors are both facing charges in these other counties, too.

“I was very uncomfortable with the situation, I did not want to get out of the car ... I was raised well and not to associate with that sort of person,” Saylors told Woods.

The defendant asked for mental health or drug-abuse counseling and the chance to repay the store what was stolen.

Saylors, who has two previous convictions related to thefts, has a university education, being just two classes shy of a degree after studying at Mississippi State University and the University of South Carolina.

Classified as a “most serious” and “violent” crime under South Carolina code, Saylors will serve a minimum of 85 percent of his sentence and a second “most serious” conviction would see him sentenced to life in prison.