Man convicted in BP robbery Wednesday

Published 8:31 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Enterprise man received a guilty verdict for robbing the old BP gas station in Troy.

Defendant Rozoda Blackmon was tried in Pike County Circuit Court Wednesday, and the jury returned a guilty verdict a few hours after the case began.

Blackmon went into the case with 11 prior felony convictions, and he will be sentenced Jan. 6.

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Pike County District Attorney Gary McAliley said 43 minutes prior to robbing the BP in Troy, where Walgreens now stands, Blackmon robbed an Enterprise gas station, to which he was sentenced life without parole.

In his next sentencing, McAliley said they will seek a similar charge.

“This one we will be asking for at least life or life without parole because anytime he gets out, he will be robbing something,” McAliley said.

The witnesses called to the stand were Troy Police officer Calesta Everage, bystander Grady Pat Anderson and the cashier.

All three were able to identify Blackmon as the robber, McAliley said.

Everage had copies of photographs from the surveillance cameras, in which Blackmon was easily identifiable.

“She had copied pictures to show the jury, and she had one of him reaching over the cash box with a gun in his left hand and money in his right,” McAliley said. “We showed it to the jury, and you could tell it was him.”

Blackmon also had been picked out of a lineup.

Anderson, as well as the cashier, were also able to recall Blackmon’s identity.

“They identified him in the courtroom as being the one who did it,” McAliley said.

McAliley said in his closing argument, defense attorney Tom Haigh asked the jury how, when meeting someone for three minutes, they were able to identify him.

“But, if somebody stuck a pistol in your chest and you just saw your life pass before you, you could remember everything about them for the rest of your life,” McAliley said in response during his closing argument.

Cases were scheduled for the rest of the week, but the defendants have pleaded guilty to their other charges.

Shaunita Larkin pleaded to charges of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, McAliley said. Larkin’s trial was set to begin today originally.

And Johnny Armstrong, age 44, will plead to sexual abuse 1st degree. He was originally charged with rape 2nd degree, but McAliley said the lesser charge was accepted because the victim, who is 15, refused to testify.

McAliley said Armstrong will spend six months in jail.

The next trial will begin Monday for a robbery that occurred at Krystals fast food restaurant in Troy, and Marque Deandre Baines will face charges for allegedly committing the crime.