A 21-year-old Richland man accused of planning a robbery at the Finley Truck Stop with a 17-year-old teenager is being held in jail on $100,000 bail.
Robert Ryan Ray Paxton pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle, and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, with an endangerment allegation added to the eluding charge.
His trial is set for Oct. 15.
Paxton and the teen, identified by police as a transient from Texas, were arrested early Aug. 18 after officers spotted the Honda Accord that was believed to be involved in the Aug. 15 truck stop robbery.
Paxton's accomplice in the robbery is identified in court documents as Christopher Sherman.
Sherman is accused of going into the truck stop just after midnight on Aug. 15, pointing a gun at the clerk and demanding money and cigarettes from her, court documents said.
After getting cash and cigarettes, Sherman left the store. Store security video showed two men in a Honda Accord in the area during the robbery, documents said.
Sherman later allegedly told police that he and Paxton planned the robbery and Paxton gave him the gun, documents said.
Paxton denied giving Sherman the gun and also denied that he knew Sherman would use a gun, documents said.
Three days later, while Kennewick police were investigating a series of burglaries in the 4200 block of West Metaline Avenue, officers spotted the Honda Accord with Sherman in the passenger seat, police and court documents said.
Paxton, who was driving, refused commands by police and sped off at speeds up to 80-90 mph through residential areas, blowing through red lights and stop signs, documents said.
Even through it was 4:30 a.m., officers said Paxton passed by several motorists during the 15-minute chase, documents said.
One deputy said Paxton almost ran into him, while a Kennewick police officer said Paxton did hit his patrol car. The chase ended when Paxton lost control of the car, went off the road and hit a business at 115 W. Canal Drive.
Investigators also learned the red Honda Accord had been stolen from Parra Auto Sales on the evening of Aug. 14-15, documents said.
When officers searched the car, a .22-caliber handgun and ammunition was found.
Sherman's trial is set for Oct. 8, according to online court records.
Trial set for Pasco man in West Richland robbery
A 41-year-old Pasco man pleaded innocent to charges he was armed with a gun when he tried to rob a woman at a West Richland car wash.
Jeremy Rodriguez faces an Oct. 15 trial in Benton County Superior Court for first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon. His bail was set at $100,000.
According to court documents, the victim, Bernice McNeely, reported she met Rodriguez about two months ago and she discussed buying a motor from him.
McNeely, however, said she told Rodriguez she wouldn't have any money until Aug. 17, but he called her several times telling her to pay for the motor.
On Aug. 17, McNeely was at a car wash in West Richland when Rodriguez saw her, entered her car, pulled what looked like a gun and demanded her purse, document said.
McNeely refused and yelled for others to call the police while Rodriguez ran to a car and left the area.
Officers stopped the car a short time later. The driver said she drove Rodriguez to the car wash as a favor and at his request, documents said.
She said she saw Rodriguez get into a car, then get out and return to her car. She then reportedly heard a woman yelling.
A passenger in the car said he heard a woman yelling, "Call the police. Call the police. He's trying to rob me!" as Rodriguez returned to the car, documents said.
Rodriguez allegedly told a Richland paramedic that he went to West Richland to get some "hydros" and then tried to steal them. Officers found hydrocodone pills in McNeely's purse and an Airsoft pistol in the car Rodriguez was in, documents said.
Benton City man allegedly assaulted his girlfriend
A 39-year-old Benton City man is being held on $50,000 bail for allegedly violating a no contact order and assaulting his girlfriend during an argument.
John Lee Gilchrist pleaded innocent to first-degree burglary with a domestic violence allegation. His trial is set for Oct. 15.
Prosecutors allege that Gilchrist entered or remained unlawfully in his girlfriend's River Road home and assaulted her Aug. 18.
Gilchrist, who was arrested by Benton County sheriff's deputies, has five prior felony convictions and faces a sentencing range of three years and five months to four years and eight months in prison.
Deputy Prosecutor Christine Bennett said the victim had a no-contact order in place against Gilchrist and asked him to leave after an argument started when he was inside her home.
Bennett said Gilchrist hit the victim several times, then chased her as she ran from her house toward a bike path behind the home.
The victim fell, and Gilchrist allegedly kicked her several times.
"Bystanders witnessed what was going on," Bennett said. "They were very concerned at the degree of violence toward her as she lay on the ground."