Kent robber found guilty, second pleads guilty in June jewelry store heist

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

Two men who attempted to rob a downtown Kent jewelry store in June now face prison time, one after being found guilty at trial by a jury and another after pleading guilty to the crime this month.

Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said a two-day trial this week in Portage County Common Pleas Cour ended when jurors found Justin M. Smith, 29, with a last known address in Akron, guilty of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.

Sentencing in Judge John Enlow's courtroom will follow a pre-sentence investigation. Smith remains in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $75,000 bond, Vigluicci said.

Smith and Shawn D. Cook, 35, of 136 Lake St., were arrested by Kent police on robbery charges after they allegedly entered Kent Jewelry at 141 S. Water St. at about 5 p.m. on June 14. Once inside and armed with a stun gun, they allegedly attacked the owner, Dennis Andrei, and tried to steal merchandise.

The robbers fled and Andrei was able to push a panic button and summon police. He was not seriously injured and did not seek medical attention, according to Kent police.

Smith was arrested in a yard in the 200 block of Crain Avenue shortly after the robbery, police said. Cook turned himself in on June 15 after finding out he was wanted for questioning, police said.

Cook, who also remains in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $75,000 bond, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in Enlow's court on Aug. 15, according to court records. He and Smith face three to 11 years in prison at sentencing.

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

Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Twitter: @RCCrimeWatch

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