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WEB UPDATE - Shiloh man accused of robbing stepmother's convenience store

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 11:59 AM

After the robbery, Porter is accused of fleeing on his stepbrother's bicycle.

James R. Porter, 28, faces one count each of aggravated robbery, robbery and theft. The trial began today. The indictment is in connection with a May 15 incident at a Greenwich Mickey Mart, at the intersection of East Main (U.S. 224) and Kniffin streets.

Authorities have accused Porter of brandishing a gun and trying to pull his coat over his head while demanding money from a clerk.

After attempting to get change for a quarter, Porter is accused of telling the clerk to give him all the money in the cash register. When she thought he was joking, Porter pulled a gun on her, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said earlier.

He is further accused of fleeing the convenience store with an undisclosed amount of money on a bicycle.

The defendant’s stepbrother, Ryan Porter, testified he usually keeps the bike in his yard. On May 15, he told police it wasn’t where he left it — by the front porch.

James Porter’s stepmother, Tracy, said the bike was squeezed between a moped and her husband’s company dump truck when she came home from work. She currently is the owner of the Greenwich Mickey Mart and was the New Washington store manager as of mid-May.

“The police were all over. I wasn’t looking at the dump truck,” she said when Leffler asked her if the bike was damaged.

James Porter usually stays in the camper on his stepmother’s property, but lives with his mother in Mansfield, Tracy said.

“He doesn’t answer to us,” she told the court. “He comes and goes at our house.”

The stepmother also testified it was common for there to be domestic disputes.

“I wouldn’t see him for two or three weeks after he got over being mad at me.”

After the robbery, three area officers searched for Porter for about 2 1/2 hours, checking behind garages and on side streets in the neighborhood near the crime scene. One resident said he saw a person matching Porter’s description riding a bike a couple hours before the robbery.

In mid-June, Richland County sheriff’s deputies arrested Porter at a motel south of Mansfield after Greenwich police received a tip about his whereabouts.

He was arrested on a Mansfield police warrant and charged with failure to appear for a municipal court hearing. The original convictions were possession of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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