Police officers in Clarksville claim that a homeless man committed an armed robbery of a Big Lots store on Riverside Drive. The robbery reportedly took place one morning around 9:45 just over a week ago.
The store's cashier claimed that a man entered the store, pulling out and pointing a gun, and asked for the money in the business's cash register.
Following the robbery, police conducted a dragnet to find a suspect to arrest. Two days later, they detained the homeless man at approximately 6:30 p.m. after finding him at a Shell Sudden Service gas station on Highway 1A South.
Police asserted that the arrestee had been identified by eyewitnesses to the store robbery who looked at a photo array of various mugshots. The man arrested reportedly was already sought on arrest warrants charging him with theft and aggravated robbery. Police were continuing their investigation and state that they are soliciting further input from members of the public with any information about the incident.
Under the law, the arrestee is entitled to a presumption of innocence, with the burden on the prosecution to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Eyewitness identifications in criminal investigations have proven notoriously unreliable in the past in a number of instances, so what can appear to be a slam dunk for prosecutors can, in court, turn out to be much more problematic.
Anyone in similar circumstances should contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience successfully defending clients against these kinds of charges.
Source: Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, "Clarksville Police arrest suspect in Big Lots robbery," Derek Allan Brown, June 20, 2012