A Clinton man originally charged with first-degree robbery pleaded guilty to two lesser charges on Thursday morning.
James Newsom, 44, told the court that he does not remember the events on Dec. 29, 2011, that led to his arrest. He pleaded guilty to extortion and going armed with intent.
According to the court affidavit, Clinton police were dispatched to Just Friends, 92 Main Ave., at 8:44 p.m. for a robbery. Bartender Michele Wagner told dispatchers and police that Newsom displayed a knife and demanded cash from the register, according to court documents. According to the affidavit, customers who knew Newsom convinced Newsom to put down the knife and go outside.
When Officer Anthony Stone arrived on scene, he found Newsom leaning against his truck, according to the affidavit.
Newsom admitted in court Thursday that he was under the influence of alcohol and a controlled substance on Dec. 29.
He said he remembered being at the River City Brewing Company. The next thing he remembers is leaning on his truck when police arrived.
However, Newsom admitted to being well-known by the people who were at Just Friends that night and believes their statements.
Judge Gary McKenrick accepted Newsom’s pleas of guilty.
Each count includes as much as five years of incarceration, which could run consecutively.
McKenrick told Newsom the charge of going armed with intent requires a mandatory prison sentence to be served. The original charge of first-degree robbery can include as much as 25 years in prison.
Newsom will be sentenced at 9 a.m. April 26.