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25 years drawn in holdup-injury

Among 3 men involved in heist at jewelry store

Johnson

The third of three men implicated in a jewelry store heist that left the shop owner’s husband badly injured was sentenced Monday.

And for being the last man to plead guilty in the case, Carl L. Johnson Jr.’s punishment ended up being the steepest.

An Allen Superior Court judge ordered Johnson to serve 25 years of a 30-year sentence behind bars for his role in the robbery.

One morning in June 2012, the 21-year-old Johnson and another man, 20-year-old Theron A. Smith, staked out Do’s Jewelers at 2809 E. State Blvd.

When the shop’s owner, Aithuan Nguyen-Do, stepped outside to give mail to a mail carrier, the two men followed her inside. At least one of the men shoved a gun against Nguyen-Do’s head and began yelling, asking her where she kept her money and the keys to her safe.

The men eventually opened the safe but found no money inside, according to investigators. They also failed in their attempts to break the glass jewelry case, according to court documents.

The two men did, however, batter Nguyen-Do’s husband, Rang Q. Do, by striking him in the head and face with a handgun.

During a struggle with Do, a shot discharged but nobody was struck, according to court documents.

Johnson and Smith then made their getaway in a Chevrolet Blazer driven by then 18-year-old Stafford A. Staples Jr.

All three men were eventually caught – Staples immediately; Smith a few days afterward and Johnson later – and charged in the robbery.

Both Smith and Johnson were charged with felony counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, battery committed by means of a deadly weapon and criminal recklessness.

Prosecutors charged Staples with one count of aiding in robbery. He was the first to take a plea agreement, pleading guilty to aiding in robbery in September 2012.

A judge ordered Staples to serve one year of a six-year prison sentence, and then allowed Staples to spend that year at the Allen County Community Corrections Home Detention Center.

Smith pleaded guilty to one count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors this past April.

A judge ordered him to serve 20 years of a 25-year prison sentence.

Johnson didn’t accept a plea pact until July, more than a year after the robbery.

He, like Smith, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery causing serious bodily injury and had the other charges against him dropped per the plea deal. Unlike Smith, he was ordered to serve an extra five years along with paying $800 in restitution.

Johnson will be placed on adult probation for five years upon his release from prison.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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