The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

October 1, 2012

Judge grants suspended term in Joplin convenience store robbery

A Jasper County judge granted a suspended sentence Monday to a defendant convicted of robbing a Joplin convenience store on condition that he complete 120 days in a substance-abuse program of the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane assessed Johnathan J. Young, 20, a prison term of 15 years on a conviction for first-degree robbery, but suspended execution of the sentence and placed him on probation for five years.

The judge also ordered that Young remain in custody at the Jasper County Jail until a bed can be obtained for him at a Department of Corrections treatment center. Upon completion of the program, the defendant would be placed on probation and required to perform 400 hours of community service.

Young and Christopher L.M. Tate, 18, robbed the Kum & Go convenience store at 1631 E. Fourth St. on Nov. 10 of last year.

Wearing hooded sweatshirts with bandannas over their faces, the two men entered the store during the early morning hours and demanded money from the male clerk on duty. Young reportedly lifted his sweatshirt to reveal the handle of a gun in his waistband.

They made off with $220 in cash and were arrested within 24 hours. The handgun was determined to have been a pellet gun, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Young pleaded guilty June 18 in an agreement with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office that limited the prison time he might be assessed to 10 years and called for dismissal of a related count of armed criminal action. The judge increased the underlying sentence to 15 years while granting the suspended term and probation.

Tate pleaded guilty Aug. 31 to a reduced charge of second-degree robbery in a plea deal that also capped the prison time he might be assessed at 10 years. He is to be sentenced at a hearing Nov. 16.

In another Joplin robbery case in Crane’s courtroom, Shawn M. Simmons, 19, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree robbery in a plea deal capping the prison time he might be assessed at eight years.

Simmons is one of three Joplin men charged with robbing a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman at gunpoint July 29 in the 1800 block of South Pearl Avenue. The men reportedly took about $30 in cash and six pizzas from the deliveryman. They were located by police a short time later at a nearby house and were arrested.

The judge delayed formal action on Simmons’ plea deal and ordered the completion of a sentencing-assessment report. She set his sentencing hearing for Dec. 10.


THE COURT CASES of the other two defendants in the robbery of the pizza deliveryman, Caleb S. Baker, 20, and Keith D. Walton, 31, remain pending.

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