Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 22, 2013

Bluefield man pleads guilty to July robbery

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A Bluefield man charged in connection with the July robbery of a Cumberland Road business pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony offense of first-degree robbery.

Larry Kidd, 29, appeared before Mercer County Circuit Judge William Sadler for a plea hearing. Kidd had agreed to plead guilty to information describing the charge against him.

Kidd was arrested July 16 following an early morning armed robbery at Patty’s, an establishment on East Cumberland Road. Officers with the Bluefield Police Department later found him at the Economy Inn, also on Cumberland Road, after responding to a call about a gunshot victim.

Judge Sadler told Kidd that by making a plea agreement, he was giving up his right to have his case heard before a grand jury. During extensive questioning to ensure Kidd also understood his right to a jury trial and understood the consequences of pleading guilty, Sadler warned him that a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison was possible.

“Yes, sir,” Kidd replied every time the judge asked him if he understood his rights and whether he was entering into the plea agreement voluntarily.

Under the plea agreement, Kidd faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment. Charges including brandishing would be dismissed, attorney Shannon Baldwin of the Mercer County Public Defender’s Office said during the hearing.

Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler said the state would have shown at trial that the robbery happened at approximately 2 a.m. on July 16. Two male subjects, one wielding a stick, entered Patty’s. One went to the cash register and tried to open it after putting on gloves that appeared to be white socks. The other suspect forced a woman to give up three diamond rings. They fled with the rings and money.

Later that evening at 3:20 a.m., officers with the Bluefield Police Department were dispatched to the Economy Inn. Jason Penley, 24, of Itmann had been shot. He told officers he had been walking to his room when a person in a passing vehicle shot him, Sitler said. Later, he said Kidd had shot him.

Penley was later released on a $25,000 bond, according to records at the Mercer County Magistrate Clerk’s Office.

Kidd has not been charged with the shooting, court officials said.

Penley, who was later charged with robbery, was hit in the right rib/abdomen area, according to an arrest report filed by Patrolman R.D. Davis. Officers had reviewed a security camera video shot during the robbery, and a dark-colored Aero shirt found with Penley was like one a suspect had been wearing.

When asked where Kidd was located, Penley directed officers to Room 215. Kidd was taken into custody, and a pair of dark-colored pants with colorful rear pockets matching a pair seen in the surveillance video were found, Davis said in his report.

Judge Sadler ordered a pre-sentencing investigation before Kidd is sentenced. Kidd was remanded back to the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com