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Man accused in gas station robbery pleads not guilty


Trish Bennett, Editor

Parris Von Cofer Jr. (Photo courtesy of the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office)

CIRCLEVILLE – The man accused in an armed robbery of the Duke and Duchess gas station last September pleaded not guilty to the charge Wednesday in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court.

Parris Von Cofer Jr., 38, of Columbus, is being held in the Pickaway County Jail awaiting a pretrial hearing set for May 13 on charges of aggravated robbery and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

Cofer is accused of entering the Duke and Duchess station Sept. 17, 2015, threatening the clerk with a gun and demanding money.

When the clerk asked to see the gun, Cofer reportedly produced a pocket knife, and the clerk chased him from the store with a baseball bat.

According to reports, Cofer also allegedly stole a vehicle from a resident of the Guest House on West Franklin Street and was suspected of robbing a Columbus-area Circle K gas station the following day.

He was arrested Sept. 20, 2015, by Worthington Police after an officer reportedly witnessed him placing cases of stolen beer into the stolen vehicle in the parking lot at Kroger on West Wilson Bridge Road.

During a brief foot chase, Cofer was tased by the Worthington Police officer and suffered facial fractures and an elbow fracture in the resulting fall.

Cofer pleaded guilty in Franklin County to one count of robbery, a second-degree felony, and one count of obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony. He was sentenced March 8 to two years in state prison for the robbery charge and 12 months in state prison for the obstruction charge. The two sentences were ordered to be served concurrently, according to Franklin County court records.

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal