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Convicted man allowed to stay in county a little longer

December 15, 2012
Salem News

LISBON - Charles Crank, the Salem man convicted of providing the disguise and serving as the lookout during an armed robbery at Circle K in June, was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.

Despite prior objections from assistant county prosecutor John Gamble, judge Scott Washam allowed Crank to remain in the county for the next 21 days so his mother can visit him before he is sent to prison. The cost of housing him while he remains in the county jail will rest with the county.

Crank's attorney Charley Kidder had requested a three-year term and had asked for additional time here so Crank's mother, who is reportedly hospitalized, can visit him. Crank, 54, East State Street, Salem, told Washam his father recently died while he was incarcerated, and his mother needs him to help her get through this difficult time.

Gamble pointed out Crank should have thought about these things before he assisted Justin Zimmerly in committing armed robbery. Zimmerly pleaded guilty in November to aggravated robbery in connection to the crime. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

"I had no idea of the magnitude of it," Crank said of the first-degree felony charge of complicity to aggravated robbery he pleaded to on Nov. 26. "If I would have known, in the future, I would steer clear of anything like this."

Crank said all he did was walk into the Circle K to make certain no one was inside but the clerk before the robbery occurred. Kidder said at no point did his client have the weapon which was used, a knife.

According to police reports at the time, Zimmerly entered the store at 11:28 p.m. and approached the male cashier while wearing a toboggan hat with eye holes pulled over his face. He did not go behind the counter, but demanded money from the cash register and fled east on foot after taking $128. It was reported at the time of Zimmerly's arrest that police believed video surveillance showed he did not act alone.

Crank will serve the five years consecutively to the 12 months he is currently serving for failure to comply with a law enforcement official. He was sentenced in September after pleading guilty to that charge in February.

Court documents state in that case, he attempted to elude state Trooper Michael Smith in March 2011 by driving the wrong way on state Route 11 until stop sticks were deployed in his path. Crank was charged with OVI during the same incident, a charge he pleaded to in Columbiana County Municipal Court in January of this year.

Gamble pointed out Crank has an extensive criminal record. In county municipal court, Crank has a list of convictions including several counts of receiving stolen property, a possession of drugs charge and theft.



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