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January 14, 2014

Store clerk says robber wore ‘Halloween’ mask

DUNCAN — A store clerk on Monday told a jury he was so shaken by an armed robbery last year that he gave up his night convenience store job.

Joshua Baker, 21,told jurors he was caught completely offguard when he was accosted at 3 a.m. by a man wearing a mask directly out of the “Halloween” horror movie series.

“As soon as I walked around the counter, I got hit in the chest with a bag,” Baker said. “A man said ‘Put the money in the bag.’”

“I was shocked. I wasn’t sure it was really happening.”

Baker offered his testimony on the first day of Dakota John Smith’s first-degree robbery trial, which continues today.

 A surveillance video of the holdup at Chisholm Corner shows a man wearing coveralls and a bandana entering the store,  followed by a second man in sunglasses and the creepy “Mike Myers” mask.

Myers is a recurring character in the popular Halloween movie franchise.

Baker said the armed robbery prompted him to seek a different career.

“I didn’t feel comfortable being there by myself,” he testified.

Earlier, Justin Scott, chief investigator for the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office, testified officers

recovered gloves, the Mike Myers mask and other evidence during their search of a home on Country Club Road.

District Attorney Jason Hicks and Assistant District Attorney Greg Steward presented the state’s evidence before District Judge Joe Enos. Clint Russell represents Smith, one of four arrested for three convenience store heists.

Of the other three suspects, Tre Demetrius Babineax, 18, has pleaded guilty and received a 15-year term; Peyton Thad Graham, 20, has waived his right to a jury trial and will appear in court Feb. 5, and Quincy Barnes, 20,  is awaiting a jury trial.

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The new Jimmy's Egg restaurant will be in the former Legacy Bank building on U.S. Highway 81 at West Club Road. The building is being renovated for the restaurant, which is scheduled to open June 9.

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