By JOSH NEWTON
Two men accused of robbing another man outside a convenience store on Christmas Eve have pleaded guilty in exchange for suspended sentences.
James Mitchell Conrad, 27, was charged with attempted robbery with a weapon, larceny of merchandise from a retailer, and obstructing an officer. He received a 10-year suspended sentence, plus fines and court costs.
Nicolas Scott Avery, 22, was charged with attempted robbery with a weapon and escape from arrest or detention. He also pleaded guilty and received a five-year suspended sentence, plus fines and court costs. Avery will be under District Attorney supervision and was ordered to pay restitution to the victim, Austin Truitt, by September.
Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested Conrad on Christmas Eve, but Avery was able to escape arrest until February.
Conrad and Avery allegedly got into Truitt’s car at around 9 p.m. on Dec. 24 while Truitt was waiting on a friend at the Log Store South.
One of the men allegedly held a gun to Truitt’s head, demanded all of his money and threatened to shoot Truitt if he didn’t have over cash, according to deputies.
Truitt told authorities he was able to grab a pocket knife to defend himself. When Conrad and Avery attempted to take Truitt’s wallet, Truitt was able to flee from the car and run inside the store.
Conrad and Avery left the store and Cherokee Nation Marshal Preston Oosahwee later spotted them driving on U.S. Highway 62. Conrad and Avery both fled, and Oosahwee was able to capture Conrad.
Conrad admitted to the robbery, according to Oosahwee’s report, and also said they had thrown a gun from the vehicle after leaving. He told the marshal he didn’t know where, exactly, the gun had been ditched, but marshals later found the gun in front of the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.
The gun was loaded and had several rounds in the magazine, Oosahwee reported.
Conrad was “very intoxicated” when arrested, according to reports, and had been cut several times by the knife Truitt wielded to defend himself.
Conrad allegedly told authorities Avery had been holding the gun when the duo entered Truitt’s vehicle.