Media Release: Criminal Trials Continue Despite COVID Pandemic

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Media Release: October 29, 2020

Attention: Assignment Editor
Director of Communications: Jeff Cooke
Office: (502) 595-2300 Ext. 3027
Cell / Text: (502) 262-5809

After a three day trial, a jury in Division Eight of Jefferson Circuit Court has convicted Antoine Offutt for the September 11, 2017 robbery of the Thornton’s Gas Station located on 1501 Dixie Highway.  The testimony presented at trial told how Offutt entered the gas station, and immediately ran behind the checkout counter and ordered the clerks to “Give me everything you got”. All three victims/employees, who were all standing behind the counter, hesitated due to fear.  After two of them got past him, the defendant became more agitated and pulled out a knife, grabbed Victim 1 by the arm, put his knife up to her stomach, and stated, “OPEN IT UP BEFORE I KILL YOU!!” Victim 1 opened the register and the defendant removed business cash from inside the register till. After obtaining business cash, the defendant fled on foot.   A patron followed the defendant to the 2100 block of West Hill Street, where he subsequently flagged down a responding officer. Offutt was identified and immediately taken into custody. At time of arrest, Offutt threw down two knives- one of which was used in the robbery; all in an attempt to conceal evidence of the crime. Offutt had the stolen business cash on his possession, and was wearing the same clothing as observed in the businesses’ surveillance video, at time of arrest.

The jury found Offutt guilty but mentally ill to the offences of Robbery in the First Degree (1 count) Robbery in the Second Degree (2 counts), Tampering with Physical Evidence and being a Persistent Felony Offender in the First Degree.  Today the jury recommended a sentence of twenty years.

Final sentencing is set for December 16, 2020.

Following the trial Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Elizabeth Jones Brown commended the jurors for serving the community and assuring that victims receive justice despite the health concerns presented by the COVID pandemic.  She also complimented Judge McKay Chauvin for insuring that the trial was conducted in such a manner that all participants were kept safe and treated fairly. 

Joining Ms. Jones Brown as prosecutor was Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Lashae Richie.