A Baxter Springs, Kansas, man took a plea offer this week on an armed robbery charge he was facing in a shoplifting incident a year ago at the Academy Sports and Outdoors store in Joplin.

Joshua B. Mayberry, 29, pleaded guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court to an amended charge of attempted robbery in the first degree in a plea deal capping the prison time he might receive at no more than 10 years. He had been facing from 10 to 30 years on a charge of first-degree robbery and was scheduled to go to trial June 16.

Judge Gayle Crane delayed formal acceptance or rejection of the plea deal and ordered a sentencing assessment of the defendant. She set Mayberry’s sentencing hearing for Aug. 16.

An Academy Sports employee testified at a preliminary hearing in July of last year that Mayberry came into the store April 22 in the company of a woman and that the two of them were seen stuffing various items into a hunting bag. He said he approached Mayberry at that time and asked if he could help him, and Mayberry’s response was to question why he was harassing him.

The employee testified that he noticed a gun in Mayberry’s waistband and believed it to be a small-caliber firearm. At that point, the employee was called outside the store to assist another customer with getting an item into a vehicle.

While he was out in the parking lot, Mayberry came out carrying the bag and informed him and other store employees who were aware of what was going on that he had a gun and that they should stay away from him. He then got in a car with the woman and left, according to the store employee.

Employees took down the license plate number of the car and took a picture of the vehicle as they were leaving. Mayberry was arrested in Oklahoma.

A fugitive from justice warrant issued in Cherokee County, Kansas, was served on Mayberry in July while he was still being held at the Jasper County Jail. The warrant concerned a charge pending against him there for aggravated assault and had a motion to revoke probation attached.

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