Alleged robber wanted in Baldwin

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2005

the selma times-journal

Despite facing a multitude of charges in several counties, Gary Pinson seemed to be in a good mood Monday.

As the cell phones of two deputies went off in the courtroom during his bond hearing, he jokingly said, “I know a judge in Baldwin County who will put you in jail for that.”

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A resident of Birmingham, Pinson was arrested Saturday morning after Kelly Box, a Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy, prevented him from robbing Hardee’s at knife point.

“I understand from my client that he’s on a probationary period from Baldwin County,” said Angela Star, Pinson’s court-appointed lawyer. “If he is still on probation in Baldwin County on a 15-year sentence, he has a hold on him and likely a delinquency and

revocation hearing. That would do away with a need for a bond in this case.”

“There is a hold on Mr. Pinson from Baldwin County, but what the District Attorney’s Office wants to address are the charges here,” said Judge Bob Armstrong. “What may, or may not happen in Baldwin County – is Baldwin County’s business.”

“Judge, considering Mr. Pin

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son’s records and the crime itself – an armed robbery of Hardee’s – we feel that a bond of $500,000 would be appropriate,” said Assistant District Attorney John Oxford Jr.

Star then asked Armstrong to leave the bond at $20,000. She said that through her brief conversation with Pinson, she believed that he could enter a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect.

“The defendant has a record of violent crimes, or crimes that injure people or put them in harm’s way,” said Armstrong. “I’m going to grant the State’s motion and raise your bond to $500,000.”

“By your actions – you deserve that –

and don’t need to be out on the street,” he said. “I wish you luck.”

Oxford, however, said that he was very pleased with Armstrong’s decision.

“We’ve been trying to have higher bonds and I think it’s been effective in controlling some of the violent crime,” Oxford said. “Selma’s had a run of it, but it seems to be calming down. Our next step is to try to handle the robberies, burglaries and thefts.”

“They’re just as important as the violent crimes and hopefully we can get that under control,” he said. “We hope that’s a step to send a message to people that robbers are not going to get out of jail.”

“We’re not going to tolerate people burglarizing and robbing businesses here in Dallas County,” said District Attorney Michael Jackson. “We’re going to ship them all off to prison and they will have plenty of time to steal in there.”

Pinson’s preliminary trial is set for June 30.