The last of three defendants to be sentenced in the robbery of a pizza deliveryman in Joplin was assessed a suspended sentence Friday and five years on probation.
Circuit Judge David Mouton sentenced Keith D. Walton Jr., 31, to eight years in prison on a conviction for second-degree robbery, but suspended execution of the sentence and placed him on supervised probation instead for five years.
Walton had entered an Alford plea to the charge on Dec. 28 in a plea bargain with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office that limited the prison time that he might receive to no more than eight years. He could have received up to 15 years for the crime.
Walton and two other men robbed a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman on July 29 in the 1800 block of South Pearl Avenue. Caleb S. Baker, 20, who brandished a gun during the robbery was sent to prison for 10 years on a conviction for first-degree robbery. Shawn M. Simmons, 29, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree robbery and, like Walton, received a suspended sentence and five years on probation.
The defendants made off with six pizzas and about $30 in cash but were nabbed by police within minutes. Simmons and Walton told investigators that the robbery was a “spur-of-the-moment” crime, with Walton stating that he went along with it only because he was hungry.
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Police warning of men posing as utility workers
The Joplin Police Department issued a warning Monday regarding reports of one or more impostors showing up at the doors of elderly residents and pretending to be Empire District Electric Co. employees checking on circuit breaker boxes.
New Mexico man draws prison term in Joplin child-rape case
A 59-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a developmentally disabled 8-year-old girl in Joplin. Robert L. Newton pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to first-degree statutory rape, first-degree statutory sodomy and felony failure to appear in court in a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office.
Alcohol, speed suspected factors in fatal crash Saturday
The driver in a double-fatality accident Saturday in Joplin is suspected of having been intoxicated and speeding at almost twice the posted limit. He may also have been attempting a trick-driving maneuver, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
Former disaster relief worker, others indicted for fraud following Joplin tornado
A federal grand jury has indicted a former employee of the Economic Security Corp. in Joplin, her boyfriend and a third alleged conspirator in connection with the defrauding of the government via tornado relief funds. A sealed, three-count indictment was returned June 11 in U.S. District Court in Springfield against Herlana L. Latham, 31, and Christopher L. Smith, 36, both of Memphis, Tenn., and John L. Williams, 30, of Cairo, Ill. T
Wounded driver in police shooting charged
A suspect accused of trying to run down two Joplin police officers with a sport utility vehicle early Sunday was winged in an arm and hand when the officers shot at him in response, police said. Brandon J. Knoderer, 32, underwent surgery Monday at a Joplin hospital to remove bullet fragments from his right arm and left hand.
Crash in Joplin claims two lives; charges being sought on driver
Two people were killed and a third occupant injured in a single-vehicle crash early today in Joplin, resulting in manslaughter charges being sought against the driver.
Two area men die as result of crash injuries
A Lamar man died of injuries sustained in a single-vehicle accident at 10:05 p.m. Thursday on Route T, four miles southeast of Lamar in Barton County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Judge orders trial for infant’s mother; woman faces manslaughter charge
A judge has ruled that an Arma woman should be tried on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, and not murder, in the death of her 4-month-old baby. District Judge A.J. Wachter ordered Heather L. Buckalew, 25, bound over for trial on the manslaughter charge at the conclusion of a hearing this week in Crawford County District Court in Pittsburg.
Three injured in traffic accident in Vernon County
Three people suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle accident at 3:45 p.m. Thursday on U.S. Highway 54, two miles east of Nevada in Vernon County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Joplin man holds door shut, thwarts break-in attempt
A Joplin man thwarted an attempted break-in at his home Wednesday night by holding his back door shut against two would-be intruders, police said.
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