Jury reduces robbery charge

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By Robin Bass

A Spencer County jury reduced second degree robbery charges for a Mt. Washington man that used a hand-written note to get money from a Country Mart gas station employee last September.

Curtis A. Blandford, 20, was found guilty of theft by unlawful taking of over $500 Monday in Spencer County Circuit Court.

The jury recommended that Blandford be sentenced to one and a half years in jail.

Judge Charles Hickman set Blandford’s sentencing date as May 6.

Blandford was video taped entering the gas station Sept. 27 and passing a note the clerk. On the slip of paper read, “This is a stick up. Give me all of you money or (expletive) happens. The note appeared to have been scribbled on a church bulletin or other religious document, because printed under Blandford’s message was a scripture verse.

The story made headlines last year, in part, because County High School teacher Jacob Barmore followed the suspect for several miles before blocking Blandford’s Jeep Cherokee from exiting a dead end street near Tanglewood Golf Course.

With no cell phone to call the authorities, Barmore convinced the suspect to get in his vehicle and drove the suspect to On the Way Cafe, a nearby restaurant.

Taylorsville Police cautioned residents from engaging potential suspects, instead citizens are encouraged to get a suspect’s license plate number, description of the car and report the suspect’s whereabouts to law enforcement.

Once in police custody, $982 and several snacks taken from the convenient store were recovered.

Blandford reportedly told police in September that he was unemployed and recently “had a falling out” with family members.

Second degree robbery is a felony charge that involves making threats, not the use of deadly weapons. This offense carries the penalty of five to 10 years in prison.