GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man arrested for a robbery at the Hillside Store in Raccoon Township in February was sentenced to nearly five years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to the charges.
Steven Davis, 42, was charged with aggravated robbery after being arrested by Gallia County deputies in February shortly after the crime was committed. Davis had entered the Hillside Variety Store, known for carrying Amish goods, with a plastic handgun tucked into a waistband before ordering the store clerk to give him cash from the register. Davis then took off with a little over $40 from the scene.
Thomas Saunders represented Davis’ defense as he was read his rights and asked by Gallia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dean Evans if Davis understood what was said. Saunders commented he hoped the court would agree to sentencing recommendations of four years and 11 months that was put forward by the prosecution. Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins represented the state.
Davis replied affirmative to all questions regarding whether he had committed the crime.
According to Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins, Davis had been on probation with Gallipolis Municipal Court in December 2015. Officers did a probational search of Davis’ home and discovered methamphetamine. He was then charged with having meth with the intent to resell it.
Attempt to distribute charges are considered fourth-degree felonies and aggravated robbery is considered a first-degree felony.
After the robbery, investigators scanned over tire tracks and received a partial license plate and vehicle description from the store clerk. With that, they were able to narrow down the vehicle used to flee the scene. After finding the defendant and the plastic gun through search warrants, DNA was detected on the Airsoft gun’s grip. The vehicle was later stopped after being discovered in the Rodney area.
According to previous criminal complaints, Davis first said he did not know of the robbery before later admitting to going into the store and robbing it because he was looking to obtain money to purchase drugs. Supposedly, Davis initially denied having an Airsoft gun; however the plastic pistol was discovered in his vehicle, matching a description by the victim.
“I think this scared the young lady that was working at the store,” Adkins said. “We feel this is a fair resolution and that the victims were on board with what we did in this case. If you commit activities like this in Gallia County, you’re going to go to prison.”
Adkins thanked Gallia Assistant Prosecutor Eric Mulford, Gallia Detective Chris Gruber, Deputy Jeff Smith and Ohio BCI for their assistance in the investigation and legal proceedings with the Davis case.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.