A Washington C.H. man who robbed United Dairy Farmers (UDF) and fled authorities Feb. 17 has been sentenced to six years in prison.
James C. Turner, 27, pleaded guilty Monday in Fayette County Common Pleas Court to second-degree felony robbery, as well as charges of failure to comply and tampering with evidence. As part of the plea agreement, the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office dropped allied offenses of aggravated robbery and robbery.
Turner was sentenced to four years in prison on the robbery charge, a two-year consecutive sentence for failure to comply, and a one-year concurrent sentence for tampering.
On the evening of Feb. 17, Washington C.H. Police Department officers were dispatched to UDF, 1710 Columbus Ave., in reference to a robbery. The caller advised that a man with a knife had stolen two cartons of cigarettes and departed the area in a red Chevrolet truck.
Officers patrolled the area and found a vehicle matching the description. One officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which fled onto Hickory Lane to State Route 38, on several county roads, back to State Route 38, and finally northbound on Interstate 71. Once on I-71, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office deployed stop sticks to stop the vehicle just north of State Route 56, according to reports.
After Turner was arrested, Washington police officers spoke with UDF employees. A clerk reportedly said that a male came into the store and selected several grocery items. As she rang up the items, the male attempted to pay with a credit card, however the transaction was denied due to insufficient funds.
After attempting to run the card several times, the man grabbed the bag containing the two cartons of cigarettes and ran from the store. Another store employee and a customer in the store ran after the man who was later identified as Turner.
As he was being chased, Turner yelled, ‘Do you want shot?’ and pulled out a knife, according to the witnesses. Turner then ran to the car wash where the red Chevy truck was parked. Video surveillance from the store positively identified Turner as the same man who stole the items and was later arrested in the pursuit, police said.
Two cartons of Newport cigarettes and a package of oatmeal cookies stolen from UDF were recovered inside Turner’s truck.