On the evening of January 15, 2020, a person attempting to hide his identity entered Casey’s General Store at 716 West 16th Street. After going past a customer in the store, he brandished a hand ax or small ax-type instrument, then finally slammed the cash register when he demanded the money from the store. Sedalia police officers were able to immediately develop and contact a suspect who was in his home. A search of the suspect’s home and subsequent canvas of the area by officers and detectives yielded multiple pieces of evidence. Freddie M. Thomas, Jr., aged 52, of Sedalia, was arrested and subsequently charged with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.
On July 14, 2022, a Pettis County Jury heard evidence on the case, chaired by Pettis County Circuit Judge Robert L. Koffman. Pettis County Prosecutor Phillip T. Sawyer presented on behalf of the state and James Gray appeared on behalf of the defendant. After hearing testimony from four law enforcement officers, an eyewitness and a lab technician from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab, which Mr. Thomas eventually linked to evidence found through his DNA, the jury found the defendant guilty, as in all points charged.
Prior to the commencement of the trial and outside of the jury hearing as required by law, the defendant was found to be a prior and persistent felony offender with previous convictions for theft, theft, and controlled substances. As such, the accused will face an extended jail term and the Circuit Court will determine the sentence after hearing arguments from the prosecution and defense counsel.
On the afternoon of the 7th, Freddie M. Thomas, Jr. appeared. with counsel for the sentencing. After hearing pleadings from the State and the defense, the accused was sentenced as follows:
Count 1: Robbery 1st degree – 30 years in the Corrections Department
Count 2: Armed Criminal Action – 5 Years in the Department of Corrections
Count 3: Unlawful Use of a Weapon – 4 years in the Department of Corrections.
Counts 1 and 3 to run simultaneously with count 2 to run sequentially. Upon completion of the sentencing, the defendant chose to plead guilty to an additional case pending for possession of a prohibited substance at the Pettis County Jail and accepted the state’s recommendation for an additional 4 years following the conviction. previously imposed punishment. Missouri sentencing rules dictate that the defendant serve 85% of his robbery conviction and then a minimum of 3 years on the ACA conviction before being considered for possible parole.
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