Flint man gets 5 years for robbery at FRESH store

TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A Flint man received a five-year prison sentence today for his role in a January holdup at FRESH by Brookshire's in Tyler.

William McKnight Easley, 34, pleaded guilty to a robbery charge in the 114th District Court. The admission stems from a Jan. 16 incident in the store's parking lot, 6991 Old Jacksonville Highway.
"There were two possible charges, stemming from the same incident," Assistant District Attorney Whitney Tharpe said. "We decided to go with the robbery, which he pleaded guilty to today."

Friday's action follows a declared mistrial in August after a jury reported it was unable to reach a verdict for attempted kidnapping following almost 10 hours of deliberations.

Victim Misty Wages, 40, testified earlier she stopped at the store to buy medicine and groceries, but Easley confronted her as she attempted to exit the vehicle, claiming he had a gun.

Ms. Wages testified she pushed back and shouted for help, attracting the attention of nearby customers, who summoned authorities.

Easley was arrested two days later at his home.

During his earlier trial, prosecutor Jacob Putnam said the defendant intended to use deadly force to restrain the woman, as defense attorney Brent Ratekin described the encounter as "a panhandling gone bad."


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