The second of two men charged with robbing the Casey’s General Store in Ellis in late December entered a plea agreement Wednesday afternoon in Ellis County District Court.
Shannon Smith, formerly of Alabama, pleaded no contest to robbery and now awaits sentencing, set for May 2.
“Do you have a clear head as to what you are doing today?” District Judge Glenn Braun asked Smith on Wednesday afternoon at the Ellis County Courthouse.
“Yes, sir,” Smith replied.
Smith, along with Jessie Holland, also originally from Alabama, stopped Dec. 29, 2015, at the convenience store just south of Interstate 70 in Ellis. The two sported a handgun and a double-barrel shotgun, according to information provided by Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees from witness statements.
The two made their way east on interstate when eventually the suspect vehicle was spotted by law enforcement. They eventually tried to pass a semi and collided with a guardrail near the on ramp. Smith and Holland then fled on foot.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. that day, Smith was taken into custody by law enforcement near a drainage ditch near the crash site.
Holland was captured a few hours later near the Kansas Department of Transportation building in northwest Hays.
Smith could be sentenced to anywhere from 31 months to 136 months in prison, depending on his prior criminal history. He also could be forced to pay up to $500,000 in fines.
The state is recommending a 36-month sentence, but Braun notified Smith he could sentence him for a different duration since the court is not part of the binding plea deal.
“I can sentence you different than what you agreed to in the plea agreement,” Braun said. “ … I can sentence you to more time than that. You understand that?”
“Yes,” Smith said.
Smith and Holland got away with more than $300 from the robbery. Most of it later was recovered.
Holland entered a no contest plea to robbery Thursday. He will be sentenced May 2 as well.