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FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2007
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Man pleads guilty to robbery

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

A man, whose shoplifting charge turned into a felony at the draw of a knife, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and received a 20-year prison sentence this week in Morgan County Circuit Court.

James Curtis Jones, 43, of 623 Central Parkway S.W. entered the plea before Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson.

Authorities said police ini-tially charged Jones with shoplifting for stealing items from Sears in Decatur on June 1, 2005.

A store employee said he saw Curtis leaving the store.

He and other employees asked Jones to come back inside.

The employee said Jones handed some of the items he had stolen back and that's when they noticed that he had a knife in his hand.

At that point, the employees backed away from Jones, reports show.

Police said Jones took $197 worth of tools and concealed them on his body.

When he saw the employees trying to detain him, he drew the knife and told them not to touch him.

Reportedly, Jones fled on a bicycle.

A traffic officer patrolling an area nearby caught Jones within minutes, reports show.

If he had not used the knife, authorities said, Jones would have had a shoplifting charge, which is a misdemeanor.

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