Preliminary hearing details robbery, shooting of officer
BENTON -- Following a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Troy Fenton was ordered to stand trial for shooting a Sikeston Department of Public Safety officer and robbing a local pharmacy.
Fenton, along with his brother Earnest Fenton, were arrested after robbing Super D on Oct. 10, 2001, and then running from police to a house on Little Street. Once at the house police officers were fired on and Lt. Marc Crocker was shot in the leg. The men later surrendered to officers after the house where they were hiding began to burn.
Earnest Fenton later died while in custody.
On Wednesday Troy Fenton was bound over to Scott County Circuit Court on charges of first degree robbery, two counts of armed criminal action and one count each of first degree assault, possession with intent to distribute and first degree arson. He was arraigned this morning in Division I and a change of venue is expected.
Scott County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Greg Spencer called five witnesses who detailed the eventful day six months ago.
Bridgette Johnson, a former employee of Super D, testified that Troy Fenton came into the store and began looking at cards. She stated he then walked back toward the exit before he stopped and rushed toward her holding what appeared to be a 9mm gun to her stomach. He then gave her note saying he wanted the money and drugs.
Johnson told the court she told Fenton that the manager had to open the money drawer. Fenton then put the gun in her back as they walked to the pharmacy to get a manager.
Mike Tullis, a pharmacist at Super D, told the court that he was handed a note by Johnson which said the man wanted money and C2 or controlled drugs. He said he and two other pharmacist put drugs in the backpack given to him by Fenton, who was ordering the employees around using the gun as a pointer, until the backpack filled up. They then filled up a plastic tote with drugs.
When asked how many drugs he estimated giving Fenton, Tullis replied the drugs were worth almost $10,000 at cost and the number of pills was in the thousands.
After putting the drugs in the bag, Tullis said he then let Fenton out the back door and then followed him out a few seconds later.
"It probably wasn't very smart, but I followed him to try and get a license number," Tullis said. "What he did was wrong."
Tullis was able to get a license plate number as Fenton got into a vehicle with another person and drove off.
Crocker testified that he was responding to Super D when he came across the vehicle and proceeded to chase it until it came to a stop on Little Drive in the Mini Farms subdivision.
As officers took position, Crocker stated he heard eight to 10 shots to the north of his location and was unsure who was shooting. As he ran toward the other officers he saw bullet holes in a window and realized he was in the open. He ran for cover but was shot in the right leg. He stated he never saw who shot him but heard the shots come from the house.
The bullet took a 3 to 4-inch section of his tibia. Crocker was transported by ambulance to the Rodeo Grounds where he was airlifted to a Cape Girardeau hospital. He underwent three surgeries and has since recovered.
Sgt. Jerry Bledsoe of the Scott County Sheriff's Department testified he did gun residue samples on Troy and Earnest Fenton and that the test came back positive for Troy but not Earnest. Gun residue samples are tests to see if a person has held or fired a gun lately.
Bledsoe also stated that while giving the test he overheard Troy Fenton tell Sheriff Bill Ferrell that he did both the robbery and shot the officer.
Fenton told Bledsoe he and his brother both took some of the drugs after the robbery. Bledsoe stated Troy Fenton appeared "sleepy" while he was interviewed and that his brother appeared "groggy and sweaty."
Sharon Newman also testified that her son, who is physically handicapped, lived in the house the Fenton's used as cover. She also stated the subsequent fire destroyed the inside of the home.