Thomas admits guilt in Gill's holdup, accepts plea bargain
Less than a week after he was acquitted in a jury trial of the Nov. 6, 2006, aggravated robbery of Sunny Food Mart, Justin Tiger Thomas has pleaded guilty to the similar robbery of Gill's Stop-N-Go three days earlier.
Prosecutor Kerry Spears said her office was weighing its limited options concerning the 20-year-old Bryan man after the jury's "not guilty" verdict in the Sunny's case, a verdict which did not sit well with Rockdale police.
"We decided to offer him a plea bargain, in which he would plead guilty to the Gill's holdup and receive five years deferred adjudication probation," Spears said. "He accepted it."
Spears admitted to being surprised.
There was another surprise.
"He wanted his shoes back as a part of the plea bargain," Spears said. "We are complying with that request."
The shoes which Thomas was wearing during his arrest in the aftermath of a College Station auto accident one day after the Sunny's robbery, became a major point of contention in the trial.
Police and Prosecutor Lesley Whitten believed they had shown shoes worn by a suspect during the Sunny's robbery, and visible on surveillance video, were the same shoes worn by Thomas during his arrest.
But the jury didn't agree.
Dan Cervenka, assistant prosecutor, said Thomas must also, along with his two co-defendants, pay $1,500 restitution to Gill's.
While the deferred adjudication probation agreement does not send Thomas to prison with the other two men police identified as his accomplices, it's anything but another acquittal.
"If he is convicted of another crime during this probationary period, he will go to prison for between 15 and 99 years," Spears said.
In December, 2008, Thomas was convicted of "terroristic threat against a public ser vant," a misdemeanor, in Brazos County and was assessed a 250-day term in the Brazos County Jail.
In the Sunny's trial, a DNA expert testified Thomas' DNA was on the gloves which were in the glove compartment of the car along with some 'doo rags' like the ones worn in the robberies and a pair of white gloves.
Witnesses told police two men wearing "hoodie" type sweatshirts, wearing white gloves and holding "doo-rags" over their faces entered Gill's on Nov. 3, 2006, with one pointing what appeared to be a semiautomatic pistol at clerks and customers. The pair made off with about $1,500.
Three days later w itnesses at Sunny's told much the same story, that two men pointed what appeared to be a pistol at a female clerk and some customers and got away with about $4,000.
One day after the Sunny's robbery, Thomas and Bryan residents Damion Jackson and Larry Johnson were detained when their car, which was being pursued by Brazos County Constable Archie Clark, was involved in a threevehicle collision at a busy College Station intersection.
Damion Jackson, 23, turned state's evidence and testified against both Thomas and Johnson. He drew a 15-year sentence.
Johnson, 25, received a 25-year term after he was found guilty in a jury trial.
Police have said they believe all three men were involved in both robberies.