BREAKING NEWS - Jury convicts James Porter of robbery, theft

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Today’s verdict in the James R. Porter armed robbery case wasn’t a surprise for Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler. A jury found the Mansfield defendant guilty of robbery and theft after slightly more than two hours of deliberations.

Finding Porter not guilty of aggravated robbery wasn’t unexpected, Leffler said, because authorities never recovered the handgun so it wasn’t available as evidence. Theoretically, he added, it’s possible the man used a toy gun during the May 15 incident at the Greenwich Mickey Mart.

Victim Angie (Trimble) Risner testified Porter pulled his sweatshirt up, revealing a gun tucked down the front of his pants. Moments earlier he had asked the Mickey Mart clerk for a quarter in exchange for two dimes and five pennies.

“I was scared,” Risner said. “I still have nightmares over it, too. … It takes more than a day to get over something like this.”

After Risner stepped away from the cash register, Porter kept the gun in his left hand. At the same time, he reached over with his right hand to grab the money from the drawer.

Porter fled from the convenience store on his stepbrother’s bicycle with $591. He was arrested June 10 at an Ohio 42 motel in Mansfield on four unrelated Shelby Municipal Court warrants.

The defendant testified his fiancee “turned me into police.” He said the woman encouraged him to pay his outstanding fines on the warrants.

“She said it was for my own good,” Porter added.

The prosecutor believes Porter committed the robbery on the spur of the moment.

“This wasn’t the brightest robber in the world,” Leffler said, because Porter didn’t cover his face. “The belief of law enforcement was it was drug-related, that he needed the money for drugs.

Porter could face as much as eight years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 3.

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