TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

December 26, 2012

Man indicted for Taco Bell armed robbery

CORBIN — “Don’t come out or I’ll blow your brains out.”

That’s what a London man allegedly said during an armed robbery of the Taco Bell in Corbin in October.

Jason A. Wagers, 34, of London, faces several charges in that robbery and another armed robbery at the Cash Express in Corbin in June. Wagers was handed a 14-count indictment in Laurel County Circuit Court Friday

In the Taco Bell robbery, four employees faced an armed man with his mouth covered by a handkerchief wearing a dark hoodie. The man demanded money, forcing the manager to empty the cash registers into a take-out bag.

According to the uniform citation, he then marched all four employees back to the freezer at gunpoint, forced them inside, telling them not to come out or he’d “blow their brains out.”

The man fled on foot.

An unidentified customer discovered the kitchen and lobby area of the restaurant deserted, and the cash drawers open and empty. No one was injured during the robbery.

In the Cash Express robbery, an armed man forced loan officer Kim Winkler to hand him nearly $3,000 in cash. He then led her by gunpoint to the business’s restroom, where she was forced to remain. According to that uniform citation, witnesses including close acquaintances and his father identified Wagers as the robber, by his demeanor, jewelry, clothing and voice. No one was injured during that robbery.

The week after the October robbery, detectives recovered a firearm along U.S. 25S believed to have been used in one or both crimes.

Wagers was arrested Nov. 2 and charged with both armed robberies. Laurel County Sheriff’s Detective Jason Back found Wagers at a residence on Hidden Acres Drive hiding in a utility closet.

The first three counts on the indictment cover the Cash Express armed robbery.

On the first count of the 14-count indictment, Wagers faces a charge of first-degree robbery by threatening the use of physical force while armed with a pistol during the Cash Express robbery. Count Two indicts Wagers on possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, as he was convicted of first-degree wanton endangerment and criminal mischief in 2011 in Whitley County Circuit Court.

Count Three indicts him on first-degree unlawful imprisonment by knowingly and unlawfully restraining Winkler.

The remaining counts are all in connection with the Taco Bell armed robbery.

Count Four indicts Wagers on first-degree robbery by threatening the use of physical force while armed with a pistol during the robbery.

Count Five charges possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, which reverts to the same Whitley County convictions mentioned earlier in this story.

Counts 6 through 9 indict Wagers of first-degree unlawful imprisonment by knowingly and unlawfully restraining the liberties of Taco Bell employees Dorcey Wagner, Sharah Holdeman, Levi Seagel and Tyler Nevels.

Counts 10 through 13 indict Wagers on first-degree wanton endangerment by wantonly, and with manifest indifference to the value of human life, engaging in conduct which created a danger of death or serious physical injury to the four Taco Bell employees.

Count 14 indicts Wagers with second-degree persistent felony offender, as he was previously convicted of second-degree robbery and theft by unlawful taking in 2004 in Knox County Circuit Court. He received a 10-year sentence in that conviction.

Laurel Sheriff’s Office personnel involved in the investigation and arrest include Chief Deputy Eddy Sizemore and detectives Tommy Johnston, Charlie Loomis and Daryl Zanet.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office also aided in this arrest.

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