GALLIPOLIS – A Gallia man who skipped a court date and was later found hiding from police was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in an aggravated robbery last year.
Donald Denny, 30, was sentenced late last week to five years for complicity to aggravated robbery in Gallia County Common Pleas Court, as well as an additional one year for failure to appear. He will serve his sentence at a facility within the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction system.
According to Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins, Denny had agreed last September to plead guilty to felony first-degree complicity to aggravated robbery and receive five years in prison.
“On the scheduled date of his plea and sentencing in October, the defendant failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest,” Adkins said. “We then also charged the defendant with failure to appear to his court hearing, a felony of the fourth degree.”
Adkins added that Denny’s criminal history made the case “a heightened priority” for his office because of prior convictions for breaking and entering, forgery, receiving stolen property and burglary.
Police couldn’t find Denny, Adkins said, so his office used its Facebook page and put out a request to followers to call the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office’s anonymous tip line with information regarding his whereabouts.
“The response was amazing and two weeks later, (Denny) was apprehended without incident hiding out in Gallia County,” Adkins said. “I appreciate all of the information from those who sent tips through our Facebook page. It has become a valuable tool for us to spread the word to the general public as to who we are looking for in order to bring them to justice.”
According to a story published Sept. 15, another Gallia County man, Jarrid Marcum, knocked on the door of the female victim’s home at Green Terrace Court in Green Township and asked for Denny. According to police reports, Marcum told the woman he wanted to sell an item to Denny. The woman told police she informed Marcum that Denny was not home, but that she would contact him by phone.
While the woman was calling Denny, prosecutors said Marcum struck the woman in the face, causing her to fall to the floor. As the woman began screaming for help, Marcum placed his hand over her mouth and told her he had a gun and would kill her if she moved.
That’s when prosecutors say Marcum grabbed the woman’s purse and a welding helmet from a nearby kitchen counter and fled the scene.
Marcum was spotted by a neighbor as being the one who visited the victim’s home at the time of the incident. He was later pulled over by the Ohio State Highway Patrol inside a vehicle in which he was a passenger and in which Denny was driving. Troopers held the vehicle until sheriff’s deputies arrived. That’s when they found cash inside the vehicle consistent with the amount the woman reported was inside her purse at the time it was taken from her kitchen counter.
Marcum was sentenced last September in Gallia County Common Pleas Court to four years in prison for the incident after he pleaded guilty to first-degree felony aggravated robbery.
Reach Michael Johnson at 740-446-2342, ext. 2102, or on Twitter @OhioEditorMike.