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Published: Tuesday, 7/29/2008

Plea agreement clears up 16 robberies

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Within weeks of being released from prison for a robbery conviction, Malcolm Johnson, Jr. armed with a handgun went to various businesses in Toledo and robbed them.

Yesterday, Johnson, 29, of 3315 Arlington Ave., pleaded no contest in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to five counts of aggravated robbery, each with a firearm specification.

As part of the plea agreement, he will not be charged with another 11 robberies of businesses. All 16 robberies occurred during the first three months of this year.

Johnson was found guilty and referred to the Court Diagnostic and Treatment Center for an evaluation. He faces a maximum of 65 years in prison when sentenced Aug. 25 by Judge Gene Zmuda.

County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Miller said Johnson entered various stores, went to the counters with a product to purchase, and then demanded money from the cashier while showing a handgun after the cash drawer was opened.

In one case, he returned to the same store and robbed the same clerk.

The defendant asked, Do you remember me? [The cashier] said, Yep. The defendant said, You know what to do. Hurry up. Hurry up, Mr. Miller said, describing what occurred Feb. 16 at the AutoZone, 601 North Reynolds Rd.

An undetermined amount of cash was stolen from the store. The month before, on Jan. 24, Johnson robbed the same store of about $740 in cash.

Other robberies involved in the plea include AutoZone, 1241 Dorr St. on Feb. 4 of about $305; the Family Dollar, 1121 North Reynolds, on March 10 of about $500, and the Family Dollar, 1135 West Sylvania Ave., on March 12 of about $220.

Mr. Miller said the agreement not to indict in the other cases was made to clear them up. He said evidentiary concerns also led to the plea. It was an agreement based on his cooperation with law enforcement, he said.

Johnson was released from prison in early January after being sentenced in May, 2004, to three years for a robbery with firearm specification conviction.

Mr. Miller said the 16 robberies occurred between Jan. 29 and March 13.



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