Walter Franklin, of Pine Bluff was sentenced to 10 years in ADC, following a guilty verdict from a Drew County jury on the charge of aggravated robbery, involving a fire arm, Tuesday. The jury voted not guilty on a theft of property charge.
Franklin was one of 4 Pine Bluff men who came to Monticello, in December, 2009, in a day that led to a gunshot being fired at a UAM student, while they were allegedly trying to steal her car; and an armed robbery of EZ-Mart North, along with the kidnapping and beating of their store clerk, by another member of the group.
The student’s vehicle was parked at Royer Hall, at UAM, when the attempted auto theft took place. When the car died, the man in the stalled vehicle ran from scene.
The student reported seeing a man from their car in a dark hoodie, with a handgun, when she heard the gunshot.
The prosecutor told the court that there were only two suspects at the scene wearing dark hoodies, Franklin and Jakevius Stewart (who was the man who ran from scene, and later plead guilty to aggravated robbery of the Hyatt Stree E-Z Mart store).
When the group’s car was stopped by police, the handgun was inside of their car.
Franklin was sentenced to serve 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, and must complete 7 years, before being eligible for parole.
Last of 4 PB Group Found Guilty of “Gun on Campus”, Not Guilty of Robbery & Theft Charges
Posted October 6, 2010
Eric Leonard, of Pine Bluff, was held Tuesday in the Drew County Circuit Court, on the charges of possession of a gun on campus, theft of property over $500 (a stolen car), and armed robbery, for his part in a series of December 15, 2009 crimes at UAM and Monticello.
The jury found Leonard guilty of possession of a handgun on the campus of higher education, but not guilty of the other charges that he was facing.
Leonard’s public defender asked the jury to sentence him to probation. In an unusual, but understandable jury presentation, deputy prosecutor Frank Spain, told the jury that he was torn between asking for a prison sentence or probation. Spain told them that if Leonard was sentenced to serve 6 years, that would possibly be reduced to only one year of prison/jail time. Since Leonard has been in the County Detention Facility for 298 days, and he, therefore, could be released, “possibly in a matter of days.”
The jury then sentenced him to 6 years of wupervised probation.
The full story, from the morning of the crime spree is detailed below.
Posted Sept 7, 2010
3rd of 4 PB Group Guilty of “Gun on Campus” for 6 Years, After “Hung Jury” on Robbery & Theft Charges
Franklin was one of the 4 Pine Bluff men that came to Monticello on December 15, on a day that led to a gunshot being fired at a UAM student, while her car was being stolen; and an armed robbery of EZ-Mart North, along with the kidnapping and beating of their store clerk.
Two of the four have already been sentenced by the court system, and agreed to testify against Franklin and Eric Leonard. However, confusing testimony was mentioned by a juror as one of the reasons that the jury couldn’t make a final decision on all of the charges.
The jury found Franklin guilty of possession of a firearm at a university, but couldn’t all agree on a guilty charge for the aggravated robbery and theft of property charges, related to the theft (and/or attempted theft) of vehicles that day.
The prosecutor’s office can re-file those charges against Franklin later.
After finding him guilty of the gun charge, the jury then was unable to decide on a sentence for him to serve. Judge Sam Pope then sentenced Franklin to serve 6 years on that charge, as this part of the trial came to a close.
2nd of 4 PB Men Accepts Plea for UAM Robbery & Car Theft
Jul 6, 2010 @ 11:51
Willie Lee Oglesby, of Pine Bluff, has accepted a plea agreement of 10 years in connection with the Dec 15 robbery at UAM’S Royer Hall, where a handgun was fired at a UAM student, in an attemt to steal her car.
In June, Jakevius Stewart accepted a plea of 52 years for his crimes on that day, which also included armed robbery of EZ Mart on N. Hyatt, and the kidnapping and assault of the store’s clerk.
Both Stewart and Oblesby were on an appeal bond out of Pine Bluff at the time of the Monticello robberies.
Both must also testify in cases against the other 2 members of the group involved in that day’s crime spree, as a part of ther plea agreements.
Posted June 16, 2010
Robbery / Kidnapping Suspect Pleads Guilty, Gets 52 Year Sentence
Jakevius Stewart, age 20 of Pine Bluff, pled guilty Tuesday morning to the charges of aggravated robbery of the E-Z Mart store on N. Hyatt St. on December 12, 2009, kidnapping of the clerk, and using another lady’s car to commit the crimes, without her knowledge.
Also included in the plea agreement are 3 UAM cases against Stewart, including another aggravated robbery, and two theft cases.
Stewart received a 52 year sentence, and will be required to testify against other defendants in some related cases.
Posted dec. 15, 2009
$1,000,000 Bond Set for PB Robbery/Kidnapping Suspect-$500,000 & $750,000 for Other 3 for Car Theft & Gun Shot
LEONARD, ERIC Drew County Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson, Monday, set bonds for the four 20 year old Pine Bluff men, accused of Monticello's early crime spree, Saturday morning.The four men, all age 20 of Pine Bluff are:Jakeveous Stewart-$1,000,000 bond, Aggravated robbery, kidnapping, fleeing, possession of controlled substance.Willie Oglesby-$750,000, Aggravated robbery, theft of property.Walter Franklin-$500,000, Aggravated robbery, theft of property.Eric Leonard-$500,000, Aggravated robbery, theft of property.Stewart and Oglesby were on appeal bond from a Jefferson County court at the time, for an earlier charge of aggravated robbery, and had bonded out on a $25,000 bond.At 5 o'clock Saturday morning, the four suspects, driving a Pontiac Parisienne (which after further investigation, was stolen out of Pine Bluff) attempted to steal an older model maroon Chevy Caprice from the west side of UAM's Royer Hall.When the owner heard her car alarm, she came outside, when one of the suspects fired a shot at the femaile owner of the vehicle, before they gave up on getting the car cranked in the cold weather. Three of the four men returned to the stolen Pontiac , and were arrested in a felony take-down traffic stop by UAM Public Safety, Monticello Police, and Drew County Sheriff's deputies, at approximately 5:20.A fully loaded 40 caliber Hi-Point handgun was removed from under the driver's seat.Stolen LaSable used in EZ-Mart Robbery
Stewart, the only suspect in the Chevy, ran from the scene to the east side of Royer Hall, and then stole third vehicle, a Buick LaSabre.
Pontiac Parisienne, stolen out of Pine Bluff, brought the 4 men to Monticello, as their crime early morning spree crossed county lines.
Around 6 o’clock, MPD Dispatch received a call from EZ-Mart on Hyatt St., reporting an armed robbery was in progress.
According to testimony from Arkansas State Police investigator Scott Woodard, Stewart had driven the stolen LaSable and parked it behind EZ-Mart. before entering the store, jumping over the counter, and robbing the clerk, using a large screwdriver as a weapon, holding it against her throat, as he physically forced her out to the parking lot. Stewart had the clerk on the ground striking her, when officers arrived, and he was taken into custody by the Monticello Police, Drew County Deputies, and UAM Public Safety staff, 12 minutes after the call came into dispatch.
UAM's Royer Hall
All four men are currently being held in the Drew County Detention Facility.