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De Soto man admits role in convenience store robbery

POTOSI — A De Soto man has admitted to his role in a Washington County convenience store robbery in 2011.

On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte sentenced Andrew Leas, 22, of De Soto, to 12 years in prison for first-degree robbery.

His co-defendant, Cory Bolen, 21, of Hillsboro, pleaded guilty in December to second-degree robbery. Bolen was sentenced to 12 years in prison but was released on five years of supervised probation after completing a 120-day drug treatment program.

Leas’ trial had been scheduled for Oct. 22.

According to police reports, a suspect entered a Washington County convenience store in June of 2011 and displayed a revolver pistol and demanded money from the clerk. The suspect fled the store and got into a light blue or gray four-door passenger vehicle and headed south on Highway 21.

A cashier at another convenience store identified the vehicle and Bolen as the driver of the vehicle used in the robbery after lottery tickets stolen in the robbery were cashed. Once Bolen was located, the gunman was identified as Leas.

Further interviews revealed the plans to rob the store had been made several days prior to the actual robbery.

Leas has been in trouble before. Leas was on probation in Jefferson County for first-degree burglary, attempted stealing, resisting arrest and six counts of forgery. He also has misdemeanor convictions related to stealing from Jefferson and Washington counties.

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