A 49 year old Alexandria man, who tried to pull off an armed robbery at Prichard's Foods in Alexandria in December 2008, pleaded guilty Friday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.
Billy Ray Thomas of Lower Helton Road, who was charged with attempted aggravated robbery and unlawful carrying of a weapon with the intent to go armed, received a three year sentence as a range one offender to serve 108 days. He was given credit for time served from December 27th, 2008 to April 13th, 2009 and has been released.
Under terms of the plea agreement, Thomas must undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and complete a Teen Challenge program for addiction or some similar treatment program. Thomas must also make a $75 payment to the economic crime fund.
Sheriff Patrick Ray says on Saturday night, December 27th at 6:52 p.m. 911 received a call from Prichards Foods in Alexandria that a man had come into the store, got some items, and brought them to the cashier. As he approached the counter, the man was wearing a rag over his face telling the cashier he had a bad cold and didn't want her to catch it. When she totaled up the items on the cash register, the man pulled a knife, pointed it toward the cash register before the drawer opened and ordered the cashier to " give me what you got". The cashier turned and ran through the store screaming for someone to call 911.
The man then left the store and got in his vehicle but before he drove away, the store manager had followed him outside and wrote down the license tag number. He then called 911.
Another witness later called 911 and reported that he was behind the vehicle and that it was going east on Highway 70.
Officers of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over the vehicle, a 1994 Dodge Sedan, on Highway 70 near Dowelltown and placed Thomas into custody.
Inside the vehicle, the officers found an eight inch knife between the seats and a rag that may have been used in the attempted robbery.
Sheriff Ray says officers later learned that Thomas had gone into another Alexandria store Saturday "looking for help" prior to the incident at Prichards Foods.
According to Sheriff Ray, Thomas walked into the Dollar General Store in Alexandria and asked the cashier for help. He was holding a rag over his face and had a knife in his back pocket. The cashier told him to go outside, get rid of the knife, and come back in and she would help him. He then walked out of the store and left. Thomas did not display the knife and apparently did not make any demands of the cashier while he was at the Dollar Store. Nothing was taken and no one was injured.
Thomas was not charged in that incident.
In addition to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Alexandria Police Department assisted in the case.
Meanwhile, in other cases Friday, 45 year old Jack Taylor, charged with two counts of simple assault, was granted judicial diversion for a period of 11 months and 29 days supervised by CPS probation. The cases are to run concurrently with each other. Taylor must have no contact or be in the presence of the victim.
29 year old Misty D. Goff pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted forgery and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case, all suspended to CPS probation. The cases are to run concurrently with each other but consecutive to a DeKalb County General Sessions sentence against her. She must make restitution to Region's Bank and pay a total of $150 to the economic crime fund.
59 year old Clessie Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in each case, all suspended to supervised probation except for 30 days to serve. The cases are to run concurrently with each other. Jones must have no contact with the victim.
34 year old Stephanie Jill Kennedy pleaded guilty to a worthless check charge. She was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to supervised probation. She must perform ten hours of community service work, make $84.88 restitution to the victim, and pay $75 to the economic crime fund. The case is to run concurrently with a General Sessions case against her. Probation is to be supervised by the General Sessions probation officer.
24 year old Nicole Reynolds pleaded guilty to simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. She received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to CPS probation. She has requested judicial diversion. A hearing will be held December 7th. She must pay a $250 fine and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment.
34 year old Billy W. Crook, Jr. pleaded guilty to simple possession and received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days on supervised probation. He must pay a $250 fine and perform 10 hours of community service work. He also pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and received six months supervised probation. The two cases will run concurrently with each other.
36 year old Mark Hamilton pleaded guilty by information to driving on a suspended license. He will be on probation for six months, supervised by CPS probation. The case is to run consecutive to a General Sessions sentence against him in DeKalb County.