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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Pellet gun robbery of Fort Smith tobacco store sends man to prison for eighteen years

A 34-year-old Fort Smith man who admitted to police that he committed a robbery of a local discount tobacco store using a pellet gun in February of 2022 was sentenced to 18 years in prison with an additional 22 years suspended last week in Sebastian County Circuit Court proceedings.

Michael Pence, whose last listed address with the courts was in the 500 block of South 18th Street in Fort Smith, was sentenced on the plea deal charges last Wednesday and avoided additional charges for failure to appear in the court session.

Pence, who was identified through store surveillance video, was arrested the same day that he robbed the King Tobacco store. He used a pellet gun in the robbery and was charged with one count of aggravated robbery after his arrest by the Fort Smith Police Department.

After almost three months in jail he bonded out but then failed to appear for his trial and was arrested again for failure to appear and two counts of contempt.

Pence had s previous arst in Sebastian County for domestic battery in the third degree. He also has arrests for failure to pay fines and for two failure to appears on Class B misdemeanor charges..

He was ordered to have no contact with victim and banned from King Tobacco stores perpetually. He was also given jail tim e credit for his 85-day stay in 2022.

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