Woman appears before judge in connection to 2017 robbery

Woman appears before judge in connection to 2017 robbery

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - More than a year after police say she helped rob a Jonesboro gas station at gunpoint, a woman appeared before a judge.

Early on the morning of Jan. 7, 2017, a masked man robbed the Shell gas station at 1325 S. Caraway.

Store video showed the suspect arrive in a red, side-step Ford Ranger.

Region 8 News aired the images on Crimestoppers generating several tips, according to court documents. Three days after the segment aired, police arrested Michael "Sammy" Bobbitt of Bono.

Bobbitt reportedly admitted to stealing the truck and robbing the gas station, investigators said.

But, he told them 25-year-old Ashley Fannin and another man "played a large role in the criminal acts, including stealing the truck, planning the robbery, and convincing" him to go through with it.

Bobbitt also claimed he split the money with Fannin and the man, then they all went out the next day and used the money "to eat at Cheddar's and to play games at Hijinx on Parker Road."

Sgt. Brandon King submitted search warrants to Facebook for account activity for both suspects. On Feb. 23, 2017, he received the requested information which included messages between Fannin and the other man.

On the night of the robbery, according to the probable cause affidavit, the man asked her where she was and why she left without telling him.

"The conversation continued until 1:14 a.m. at which point Ashley sent [the man] a message indicating that she had just arrived home and was at the front door," the court document stated.

Investigators said during the conversation Fannin "repeatedly stated that she was with Sammy and that Sammy was driving them."

The man asked her how they were driving around if neither of them owned a vehicle.

"But Ashley never answered the question," the affidavit said.

Sgt. King also located photos on the man's Facebook page that appeared to have been taken at Cheddar's on Jan. 8, 2017, the day after the robbery.

The detective spoke with the man who said he woke up that morning and found that Fannin was gone.

"When she and Sammy returned they were in possession of a large amount of currency," the man reportedly told police. "He said Bobbitt and Fannin told him that they had robbed a drug dealer for the money."

On March 15, 2017, Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler found probable cause to charge Fannin with aggravated robbery; theft of a vehicle; and theft of $1,000 or less from a building. He issued a bench warrant for her arrest.

Nearly a year later, on Feb. 13, 2018, Fannin appeared before Fowler in video court. He set her bond at $75,000 cash/surety. She's due in circuit court to answer the charges on March 30.

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved.