The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

August 31, 2012

Teen pleads guilty in Joplin convenience store robbery

A Joplin teenager pleaded guilty Friday to participating in a robbery last year of the Kum & Go convenience store at 1631 E. Fourth St. in Joplin.

Christopher L.M. Tate, 18, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to a reduced count of second-degree robbery in a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office.

The deal would limit the prison time Tate could face to no more than 10 years. He had been facing the possibility of 10 to 30 years, or up to life, if convicted of first-degree robbery.

Circuit Judge David Mouton ordered the completion of a sentencing-assessment report on Tate and set his sentencing hearing for Nov. 16.

Tate’s co-defendant, Johnathan J. Young, 20, pleaded guilty June 18 to first-degree robbery in a plea agreement that would dismiss a separate felony count for possession of a controlled substance. His plea bargain also limits the prison time he might be assessed to no more than 10 years. Young is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 10.

Police and court records state that the two robbers wore hooded sweatshirts with bandannas over their faces in the Nov. 10, 2011, robbery. Young had an Airsoft gun in his waistband and lifted his sweatshirt to reveal its handle to the store clerk on duty as he demanded “all the money” from the cash register, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

They ran with $220 cash, according to the affidavit, but were arrested by police within 24 hours.


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