By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
Two people facing charges in connection with several area armed robberies appeared in Laurel County District Court Wednesday for their preliminary hearings.
Darla McCormick, 46, of Gray, and Shawn Stehlin, 32, of Lily, appeared with their attorneys before Judge Wendell Hammons, who was “filling in” Wednesday.
McCormick waived her preliminary hearing, and will now face a grand jury May 17. She is free on a $25,000 fully-secured bond.
Stehlin’s preliminary hearing was continued to May 7. He is represented by Attorney Mike Brophy.
Stehlin was arrested April 16 after a robbery at Brock’s Tobacco Store on KY 229.
Laurel County Sheriff John Root said 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.
Last week, Stehlin admitted to the April 9 robbery of the Tobacco Shop on U.S. 25E, according to Barbourville Police Detective Steve Owens.
In that robbery, the suspect approached the drive-through window on foot, drew and aimed a semi-automatic handgun, and demanded cash, Owens said.
That suspect fled on foot with more than $1,000. He was described as a thinly-built white male, with either a short beard or goatee, wearing a black hoodie. At that time, police were also seeking a Chevrolet Trailblazer possibly connected with the robbery.
Root said 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 said last week 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.”
By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
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