GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia man involved in a pair of convenience store robberies with his wife last October was sentenced Friday to 15 years in a state prison.
Kyle McKinster, 34, of Gallipolis, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony. One count carried a penalty of eight years in prison while the other carried seven years. McKinster will serve the two sentences consecutively, meaning he will remain in prison for 15 years, according to Gallia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dean Evans. McKinster had originally pleaded not guilty.
Winston Woodyard served as McKinster’s defense counsel.
Gallia County assistant prosecutors Eric Mulford and Britt Wiseman recommended a 15-year sentence, which was ultimately placed upon McKinster.
According to information gathered by the Daily Tribune last year, Gallia County sheriff’s deputies received calls that there had been a robbery at the Marathon gas station on Jackson Pike around noon Oct. 24, 2015. McKinster brandished a knife after grabbing the station attendant and took cash from the facility’s register. Deputies started searching for the suspects before hearing a few hours later about a similar incident at the Par Mar station in Centenary area. Deputies found the pair in the Kanauga area later that night.
According to Mulford, investigators were able to ascertain the pair’s identities by video evidence and DNA discovered on a store clerk’s clothing.
Christina McKinster, 29, of Gallipolis, was also arrested and has had charges filed against her for alleged complicity in the robberies with her husband. A jury trial has been scheduled for 9 a.m. March 17in Gallia County Common Pleas Court.
“We’re happy with how everything has turned out today,” said Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “The victims are happy. I sat with one of them in the back of the courtroom today. She’s happy and thanked us. The main thing about a case like this is to try to make the victims happy and to put a message out there that if you commit criminal acts like this, you’re going to get caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“By accepting a reasonable plea agreement, we avoid the cost of a trial and the emotional toll that it would take on the victims again to have to go back through that situation,” Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said. “It seems like the resolution of this case is appropriate for what happened. Hopefully that’s something to where not only do you have an aspect of punishment for what happened, but hopefully there’s some treatment for the inmate that’s being sentenced. But it may also serve as a deterrent to other people that may also find themselves in a similar situation to consider doing something like that.”
The defense’s counsel could not be reached for comment as of press time.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.