By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Two defendants in several area armed robberies were indicted Friday in Knox County Circuit Court.
Shawn K. Stehlin, 32, and Darla K. McCormick, 47, both listed as residing at the same address in Gray, were each named in a three-count indictment charging them with the April 9 robbery of Tobacco Hut on U.S. 25E in Barbourville.
No one appeared for McCormick, who remains in custody in the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women in Pewee Valley.
Stehlin was represented in court Friday by public defender Jennifer Milligan — he remains in custody at the Laurel County Correctional Center.
The first count of the indictment charges the pair with first-degree robbery after allegedly using physical force to rob the Tobacco Hut.
Barbourville Police Detective Steve Owens said in April that during questioning from both the BPD and the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, Stehlin confessed to robbing the Tobacco Hut, and then fleeing the scene in a maroon Chevy Trailblazer sport utility vehicle.
Owens said in that robbery, Stehlin allegedly walked up to the drive-through window, pulled out and aimed a semi-automatic handgun at the female clerk on duty and demanded money.
Stehlin reportedly then left the scene with more than $1,000 in cash. McCormick was allegedly the driver who helped Stehlin get away.
The second count charges Stehlin with second-degree persistent felony offender, after his February 2011 conviction in Laurel County Circuit Court for his second or subsequent offense of third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. He was sentenced to three years for that crime.
The third count indicts McCormick on a charge of first-degree persistent felony offender.
The indictment states McCormick was convicted in Laurel Circuit Court in October 2004 for her first offense of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, for which she was sentenced to eight years, enhanced to 10 years by being a first-degree persistent felony offender. She was also convicted in Boyle Circuit Court in November 2010 for first-degree promoting contraband, for which we was sentenced to one year. In September 2010, McCormick was convicted in Laurel Circuit Court for first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, and was sentenced in that case to 10 years. In Whitley Circuit Court, McCormick was convicted in May 1996 for first-degree hindering prosecution or apprehension, for which she was sentenced to a year. In March 1996 in Laurel Circuit Court, McCormick was convicted of theft by unlawful taking property valued at $300 or more, for which she was sentenced to one year. In March 1998 in Laurel Circuit Court, McCormick was convicted for illegally possessing alcohol in a dry territory, third offense.
Stehlin remains jailed in the Laurel County Correctional Center under two cash bonds totaling $75,000.
Stehlin and McCormick received a three-count indictment in Laurel County Circuit Court in May for the April armed robbery of Brock’s Tobacco Store on KY 229 in London.
Stehlin was jailed April 16 after the robbery at that tobacco store according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
Root explained Stehlin was arrested after the alleged accomplice, McCormick, was arrested at a grocery store by Laurel Deputy Larry Parrott.
Root said in that robbery, a lone gunman sporting a pantyhose mask and armed with a pistol entered Brock’s and robbed the store of an undisclosed amount of money.
The man ran into the parking lot, where a Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by the female accomplice waited. A witness followed the Chevrolet and got the license plate number.
Root said investigators learned from McCormick after her arrest that she had allegedly dropped off Stehlin at his mother’s home.
Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter and Parrott went to the residence, where Stehlin was arrested after a brief scuffle with police. Root said he was found hiding under the bed.
Root said then Stehlin may also be the suspect in the March 29 robbery of Unique Tanning and Gifts, which is on U.S. 25W near U.S. 25E. In that robbery, a lone gunman robbed the clerk on duty.
Root added that Stehlin may also be the suspect in the attempted robbery of the Wildcat Tobacco Store April 18. The sheriff said during that attempt, a lone gunman entered the store to rob it but was “scared off.”