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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Super D robber is found guilty

Sunday, January 12, 2003

ST. CHARLES - A Boonville man is facing four life sentences after being found guilty on charges related the to Super D robbery and the shoot out which followed.

After a three-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than an hour Thursday before returning verdicts finding Troy L. Fenton, 37, guilty on all four felony offenses: first degree robbery, first degree assault of a law enforcement officers and two counts of armed criminal action.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 17 by St. Charles County Circuit Judge Nancy L. Schneider, who presided over the trial.

The case was tried in St. Charles County due to a change of venue request from the defendant.

The trial began Tuesday. After the jury was seated, Scott County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory Spencer called Bridgette Johnson and Mike Tullis as his first witnesses.

Johnson testified she was working at Super D on Oct. 10, 2001, when she was approached at gun point by Fenton and ordered to surrender money and drugs to him.

After she was unable to open the cash register under duress, Fenton moved her to the pharmacy area and pointed the gun at Mike Tullis, head pharmacist.

During the course of this robbery, over 10,000 various Class II pills were reportedly taken by Fenton. Tullis testified that as Fenton left the pharmacy, he followed him out of the store and called in a description and the license plate number to the police.

The jury then heard from Lt. Mark Crocker of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety who testified he spotted the vehicle on Highway HH in Scott County and began pursuit. He was joined in the chase by PSO Chris Newell of the Sikeston DPS.

Fenton's vehicle turned onto Little Street and crashed into a residence. He and his brother, Earnest Fenton, were then seen running into a house. Officers from the Sikeston DPS surrounded the house and waited for the suspects to flee.

Upon further questioning from Spencer, Crocker testified that he heard a volley of gun fire from the north side of the house and thought his fellow officers were coming under fire. He said he then ran in front of the window and was shot in the lower right leg.

Additional testimony from other witnesses followed on Wednesday with Newell and Lt. Dennis Irwin of the Sikeston DPS testifying how they pulled Crocker to safety behind a patrol car as additional shots were fired from the house.

Sikeston DPS Officer Andy Caton testified that at one point during the shooting he saw Troy Fenton in the window with a gun.

Captain Dan Armour of the Sikeston DPS testified he observed a fire starting inside the house and ordered the suspects out of the residence. Eventually they complied, emerged from the house and were taken into custody by the Scott County Sheriff's Department.

Deputy Bobby Sullivan of the Scott County Sheriff's Department stated that after he arrested Troy Fenton he admitted he committed the robbery and shot Crocker.

Scott County Sheriff Bill Ferrell testified Troy Fenton also confessed to both the robbery and shooting while he was being transported to the Scott County Jail.

Lt. Jerry Bledsoe of the Scott County Sheriff's Department explained to the court the results of the gun-shot residue tests he did on both Troy and Earnest Fenton showed Troy Fenton had recently fired a gun and Earnest Fenton had not.

Sgt. Phil Gregory of the Missouri State Highway Patrol testified that after the suspects were arrested he searched the residence the brothers had been in and recovered numerous pill bottles and pills taken from Super D.

Gregory also testified he found a Taurus 9mm handgun in the front kitchen sink of the residence. This weapon was determined by the Southeast Missouri Crime Lab to be the gun which fired the bullet recovered from Crocker's leg.

Earlier in the trial, Johnson and Tullis also positively identified the 9mm handgun as the one used in the Super D robbery.

Testimony concluded Thursday with a total of 18 witnesses being called by Spencer.

No witnesses were called by Fenton's attorney, Jacob Zimmerman of the public defender's office. Fenton did not testify in his own defense.

Spencer said he was extremely pleased with the verdict. "This jury carefully listened to almost three days of testimony and then returned a verdict that the people of Scott County can be proud of," he said.

He also thanked St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas for the assistance from his office.

Sikeston DPS Chief Drew Juden praised the efforts of the Scott County Prosecuting Attorney's office and all the others involved in coming together to help get another dangerous criminal off the streets.

Juden said that while you can't "catch lightning in a jar," when this many agencies work together along with great cooperation from citizens, almost anything is possible.

The people of St. Charles County were also commended by Juden for their support and assistance during the trial.

Spencer said he will ask the judge to sentence Fenton, who is a prior and persistent felony offender with an extensive criminal history, to the maximum allowable punishment.

"Troy Fenton does not deserve any sympathy and the only fitting punishment will be the one that guarantees that he never sets foot outside of a prison while he is still living," Spencer said.