By Jeff Lehr
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Paul Shoumake received longer prison terms Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court for his robberies of local residents than a sentence he received in federal court for robbing a Joplin bank.
Circuit Judge David Dally assessed Shoumake, 44, three 12-year sentences for two robberies and one attempted robbery of Jasper County residents in their homes on Dec. 6, 2010.
Shoumake pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in two of the cases and to first-degree burglary in the third in a plea deal with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office. The deal reduced the two counts to second-degree robbery from first-degree, limited the prison time he might receive to no more than 12 years, and dismissed a fourth count of stealing a motor vehicle.
The judge accepted the plea bargain, assessed the defendant the maximum terms permitted under the agreement, and ordered that the sentences run concurrently.
Shoumake had received a 46-month term in October 2011 in federal court on a conviction for robbing the Great Southern Bank on 32nd Street the day after the three home robberies. He had entered the bank with Band-Aids on his face as part of a disguise.
During a preliminary hearing in January 2012, two of the three victims in the home robbery cases were unable to identify Shoumake as the man who robbed them. But the defendant was ordered bound over for trial in all three cases based on the strength of other evidence gathered by Jasper County sheriff’s deputies and Joplin police.
Phillip Blankenship testified at the hearing that a man who came to the back door of his home near Carthage was wearing a stocking cap and a scarf over his face. Blankenship opened his door to the man, who informed him that he had a gun and that he was being robbed.
Blankenship gave him $60 out of his wallet. The robber told him that he needed $7,200 and demanded that Blankenship accompany him to the victim’s bank to get it. Blankenship gave Shoumake the slip in the driveway, and ran back into his home and locked the door. Shoumake was charged with stealing Blankenship’s truck, which was later found abandoned in a church parking lot in Carthage.
Shoumake next appeared at the door of Frankie Watson, who lives on West Junge Boulevard in Joplin, about two hours after the robbery of Blankenship. He asked to use her phone, and then let her know that she was being robbed. He took $600 from her purse and also tried to get her to go with him. But she sat down in her yard and refused to budge, and he left without her.
The last of the day’s three victims, Carrie Parrish, was the lone witness to identify Shoumake in court. She said the man who rang the doorbell of her home east of Carterville forced his way in when she answered the door. He held his hand in his pocket and claimed to have a gun.
Shoumake forced her and her 3-year-old son out to the garage, where her vehicle was parked. She tried to flee with her child as the garage door was opening, but he chased her down and caught her. She sank to her knees in the yard with her son screaming and refused to move until Shoumake finally walked away.
ACCORDING TO HIS SISTER, Paul Shoumake moved to Joplin about 10 years ago from Poplar Bluff and had worked as a finish carpenter.