Alleged Kent jewelry store robbers plead not guilty

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Two men whom police say attempted to rob a downtown Kent business on June 14 are now facing aggravated robbery charges.

Shawn D. Cook, 35, of 136 Lake St., Kent, and Justin M. Smith, 29, of Akron, were indicted on one count each of aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies, by a Portage County grand jury on Thursday, June 20.

Both pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in Portage County Common Pleas Court on Monday, and were ordered held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $75,000 bond each by Judge John Enlow.

Kent police allege that Cook and Smith entered Kent Jewelry, 141 S. Water St., at about 5 p.m. June 14. Armed with a stun gun, they allegedly assaulted owner Dennis Andrei, 51, attempted to steal merchandise, then fled.

Police said Andrei suffered only cuts and scrapes and did not seek medical attention. Smith was arrested in the 200 block of Crain Avenue shortly after the incident, and Cook turned himself in on June 15 after finding out officers wanted him for questioning, according to Kent police.

Enlow scheduled trial dates in August.

Seeking a $100,000 cash bond, Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eric Finnegan told Enlow that Smith's criminal history includes a robbery conviction for which he served prison time. He also has prior felony convictions for failure to comply and drug trafficking, Finnegan said in court.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Twitter: @RCCrimeWatch

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