Trial begins for man accused of assaulting, robbing store clerk

By John Hamilton -

WILMINGTON — Jury trials have started again at Clinton County Common Pleas Court.

On Wednesday, Jason Reeder, 42, appeared before Judge John “Tim” Rudduck facing charges of alleged felony 2 robbery, telecommunications fraud, aggravated drug possession, heroin possession, and fentanyl possession. The latter four are felony 5 charges.

Katie Wilkin, representing the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office, asked the jury to “pay attention to the little details.”

Wilkin asked the jury to pay attention to the security footage of the incident — in particular to the clothing, which she said was located in Reeder’s apartment — and to the security footage of when Reeder attempted to cash in lottery tickets.

The charges stem from an aggravated robbery in December at the Hidden Carryout on West Main Street.

Police responded to the business around 9 p.m. on a Monday in reference to a panic alarm. According to the Wilmington Police Department, Reeder allegedly entered the business, assaulted the cashier — 63-year-old Carl Butts — by striking him the head several times and knocking him unconscious, and that Reeder took money and lottery tickets.

Reeder attempted to cash winning lottery tickets at different Wilmington locations, according to police.

Reeder was arrested a few days later when a warrant was served by the Wilmington Police-Clinton County Sheriff’s Joint SWAT team. Authorities clothing linked to the robbery. Drugs were also located during the arrest, hey said.

Assistant Public Defender Alycia Bemmes told jury members the day of the incident was Reeder’s “lucky/unlucky day.” Bemmes told them that Reeder was an “avid” player of the lottery and that he discovered the tickets “folded up in the trash.”

Bemmes also argued that none of the witnesses would be able to identify Reeder as the robber due to the robber’s face being covered.

As for the drugs, Bemmes told them it was a shared apartment with visitors coming frequently. She said there’s reason to believe the drugs belonged to someone else.

By John Hamilton