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Hartselle man pleads guilty to robbery, kidnapping

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

A Hartselle man, who police said took a hostage for a shield to exit a grocery store that he allegedly robbed, pleaded guilty to robbery and kidnapping.

Larry Dean Maples, 49, of 38 Jenkins Court entered the plea Monday in Morgan County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count of first-degree robbery.

Circuit Judge Sherrie Paler set sentencing for Feb. 28.

Authorities said the robbery occurred Oct. 21, 2006. Police said Maples ordered two juvenile employees into a bathroom and said he would kill them if they didn't stay there. He struck one of the juveniles with a handgun, which turned out to be a BB pistol, police said.

Then, he took a 27-year-old clerk with him as he tried to leave the store. Police said he dragged her across the parking lot, threatening to kill her if officers didn't back away, according to reports.

A Hartselle police officer fired a shot from about 40 yards away and hit Maples. Maples was taken to Huntsville Hospital and police guarded him.

A grand jury later cleared the police officer of any wrongdoing in Maples' shooting.

"The shooting may have prevented harm to other officers and civilians," the grand jury report stated.

Maples remains in the county jail in lieu of bonds totaling $800,000.

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