WILMINGTON — One of two armed robbery suspects will serve jail time.
On Thursday, James Clifton, 61, was sentenced to a mandatory 14 years in prison for two counts of aggravated robbery that he pled guilty to in January.
Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John “Tim” Rudduck also sentenced Clifton to 11 months in prison on a charge of criminal tool possession he pled guilty to on Thursday. The charge was amended from a deadly weapon possession charge.
As part of the robbery 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. With pleading guilty to the criminal tool possession charge, the related charges of conspiracy and attempted escape were dismissed.
Jail time credit was given, since Clifton was jailed since July 10, 2019.
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. Rudduck indicated in the sentencing the weapon was a pen.