CLINTON — A Clinton man pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony theft charge.

James M. Sheley, 20, 634 Third Ave. South, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court and pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, a Class C felony. The State will dismiss one count of second-degree robbery, a Class C felony, at sentencing. The State will recommend a suspended sentence conditioned on Sheley completing the Residential Corrections Facility program. Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 7. The court ordered a deferred docket search and RCF screening.

According to the affidavit, at 2:30 p.m. June 28, officers were dispatched to the 100 block of North Fourth Street in reference to a robbery that just occurred. The victim stated he had just left the Shell Central gas station and a white male approached him and asked him for $5. The victim told the male he did not have any money. The white male told the victim he had just gotten out of jail and needed money. The victim admitted he had about $93 in his possession but did not want to give the male the money because it belonged to his friend. The victim continued to walk north on Fourth Street and noticed the male following him.

The affidavit states the victim described the male as tall with a thin build, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt around his head and a tank top. The victim also said the male had his hair in a ponytail. The victim stated the male approached him again and this time the male took the money he was carrying in his hand. The victim tried to hit the suspect with his cane but the suspect took his money and ran from the area.

The affidavit continues a witness identified the male as Sheley. The witness said Sheley went up to the victim and swung at him. The witness was not sure if Sheley hit the victim but noticed the victim fell to the ground. The witness stated the victim quickly got up and started to hit Sheley with his cane. The witness stated Sheley took the victim’s money and then ran from the area. The witness described Sheley as wearing jeans, a white T-shirt around his head and a white tank top. The officer met with the victim at the Clinton Police Department. An officer presented the victim with a photo lineup and he identified Sheley as the suspect. The witness also identified Sheley as the suspect.

The affidavit states that based on this information an officer went to the Shell Central gas station to review video. Sheley was in the Shell Central gas station around 1:45 p.m. June 28, 45 minutes before the robbery. He was wearing jeans, a white T-shirt and white tank top under his white shirt. Sheley also had his hair in a ponytail. The officer checked jail records and found Sheley got out of jail the day before the robbery, consistent with the statement made by Sheley when he told the victim he just got out of jail.

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