Plea entered in pharmacy robbery

PARSONS – A man who allegedly robbed a pharmacist for drugs entered a plea in Tucker County Circuit Court Friday.

John Joseph Morton Jr., 28, was arrested in July for allegedly robbing the Rite Aid in Parsons and taking approximately 300 Percocet pills.

Morton appeared with his attorney, Timothy Prentice, before Judge Lynn Nelson. Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney Ray LaMora III said the state has a signed plea agreement.

“The defendant has agreed to plead guilty to second-degree robbery, a felony,” LaMora said. “He has also pleaded guilty to assault, a misdemeanor. Those are lesser offenses and the state is going to dismiss the rest of the charges. The state is going to make a recommendation of 10 years incarceration. I would ask for a pre-sentence investigation and that the two charges be run concurrent.”

Prentice asked that Morton’s bond be reconfigured so he could spend the holidays at home with his son under home confinement. LaMora opposed Prentice’s request, and Nelson refused to make changes to Morton’s bond.

Morton is currently in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

Also Friday, a Hambleton woman who was indicted in October by a Tucker County grand jury on two felony counts of child neglect creating a risk of injury appeared before Nelson.

Jessica Poe, 24, was pulled over for reckless driving in August. Officers found two children – a 4-year old and a 2-year-old – riding in the back seat of the car without any type of child restraints or car seats, police said.

LaMora said Poe’s attorney, Megan Allender, and he had been in negotiations and they believed they have ironed out the issues in the agreement.

“The state does have a plea agreement in writing,” LaMora said. “We would like to have some time to go over that with Miss Poe and make sure she consents. We would like to set up a plea hearing. At that time, we would be willing to waive a PSI (pre-sentence investigation).”

Nelson agreed to waive a pre-sentence agreement and set a plea hearing for Poe at 10 a.m. Jan. 16.