The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 11, 2012

Gunman pleads guilty in pizza deliveryman robbery

By Jeff Lehr

— One of three men charged with the robbery of a pizza deliveryman last summer in Joplin was granted a suspended sentence Monday while a co-defendant was pleading guilty in a separate division of Jasper County Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane assessed Shawn M. Simmons, 29, eight years in prison on a conviction for second-degree robbery, but suspended execution of the sentence and placed him on probation for five years.

Simmons pleaded guilty Oct. 1 in a plea agreement with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office that capped the prison time he might be assessed at eight years. He had been facing the possibility of up to 15 years for the offense.

Simmons is one of three defendants charged with robbing a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman at gunpoint July 29 in the 1800 block of South Pearl Avenue. The men made off with about $30 in cash and six pizzas.

A co-defendant, Caleb S. Baker, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery Monday in Judge David Dally’s courtroom. He changed his plea to guilty as part of a deal with the prosecutor’s office that would dismiss a second count of armed criminal action and limit the prison time he might be assessed to 10 years.

The judge delayed formal action on the plea bargain and ordered the completion of a sentencing-assessment report. Baker’s sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 11.

According to police and court records, Baker wielded a handgun in the robbery. He also has previous felony convictions for property damage and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Third defendant

KEITH D. WALTON, 31, a third defendant charged in the robbery of a pizza deliveryman in Joplin, has a court hearing coming up Dec. 21.