A judge sent a 25-year-old man to a prison treatment program Monday when he pleaded guilty to having tried to rob Andy’s Frozen Custard in Joplin wearing slippers and armed with a knife and a note written in crayon.
Kevin M. Miller, of Neosho, pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to attempted first-degree robbery in a plea deal dismissing related counts of armed criminal action and escape, and a separate offense of resisting arrest.
Judge Gayle Crane accepted the plea bargain and assessed Miller a term of 10 years in prison, with the sentence to be served at the state’s Institutional Treatment Center and the court to review the case after 120 days for possible placement of the defendant on probation.
Miller tried to rob the frozen custard shop at 2934 S. Range Line Road on April 22, entering the business wearing a hooded sweatshirt that was cut across the chest, a dark mask and blue slippers and handing an employee on duty at the counter a note written in crayon.
According to a probable-cause affidavit filed with the court, the note, which was wet, demanded that the employee open the cash register “or get shot in six.”
The male employee refused to read the note and told Miller he was calling police. Miller pulled out a knife and lunged at the employee before running from the business.
No one was hurt in the incident, according to Joplin police, who tracked down and arrested the suspect with the assistance of a police dog moments later.
The affidavit states that officers found a hooded sweatshirt in the room where Miller was located with a cut across the chest that matched the employee’s description of what the suspect was wearing. Miller purportedly tried to flee in handcuffs but was recaptured with the help of the police dog.
He had to be treated for a dog bite before being taken to jail, according to the affidavit.
Miller had been arrested by Joplin police about two weeks previously for resisting arrest in a larceny investigation. According to a second probable-cause affidavit, a detective entered a business on West Seventh Street on April 7 as Miller was attempting to buy several lottery tickets.
When the clerk asked to check his identification, Miller purportedly left the store and got into a vehicle. Realizing he was a suspect in a prior theft of lottery tickets, the detective tried to stop him from leaving, but he fled in the vehicle, almost causing an accident at Seventh Street and Schifferdecker Avenue, according to the affidavit.