WILMINGTON — One half of a pair of accused robbers has pled guilty.
Shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit, James Clifton, 61, pled guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery on Tuesday in Clinton County Common Pleas Court to Judge John “Tim” Rudduck. Clifton could face over 11 years in prison for the felony 1 charges.
As part of a plea deal, Clifton’s six additional charges — three counts of felonious assault, one count of failure to comply, and two additional aggravated robbery charges — were dismissed.
Along with 56-year-old Levi Cutcher, Clifton was arrested in July after being connected to two gas station robberies that occurred in Clinton County in the summer of 2019. According to reports, money and miscellaneous items were stolen from the stations.
The two were apprehended after leading authorities on a vehicle pursuit ending when stop sticks were deployed. Clifton was arrested without incident; Cutcher exited the vehicle, leading authorities on a short foot pursuit.
A shotgun believed to be used in the incidents was located in the vehicle.
While incarcerated at the Clinton County Jail on $100,000 bonds, both Clifton and Cutcher were charged with alleged conspiracy, deadly weapon possession, and attempted escape in November.
Maj. Brett Prickett of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office told the News Journal that deputies found out the alleged escape plan on Oct. 30. No further information could be shared, he said.
Clifton’s sentencing is scheduled for March 10.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574