Hampton Pharmacy robbery case sent to Grand Jury

Published 6:17 pm Friday, September 29, 2017

A court case against a Carter County man charged with robbing the Hampton Pharmacy in February has been bound over to a Grand Jury.

Investigators with the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jason Daniel Stout, 36, of 297 Keenburg Road, Elizabethton, on February 23 and charged him with aggravated robbery with a firearm. The following day, deputies charged Stout with the introduction of contraband into a penal facility after he was allegedly found in possession of prescription medication inside the Carter County Detention Center.

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The aggravated robbery charge stems from an investigation by the CCSO into a report of an armed robbery at Hampton Pharmacy, located at 339 Highway 321, in Hampton, shortly before Noon on February 23.

At Friday’s court proceeding, Stout underwent a preliminary hearing in the case to determine if probable cause existed to forward the case to a grand jury.

Hampton Pharmacy employee Donna Williams was the first to testify, and she related for the court the events that transpired on Feb. 23 while she and two other women were working inside the pharmacy.

“A guy comes in with a blue mask on his face,” Williams recalled. “We were all just standing there stunned.”

“He said give me all your Oxycodone and Oxymorphone.”

Williams said she tried to walk away, but the man shouted at her for her to come back.

“He slammed his gun down on the counter,” Williams said. “I was scared to death. I’ve been robbed before.”

“I didn’t know at the time it was a pellet gun,” she added. “I thought it was a real gun.”

After she handed the bag containing the prescription medication to the man, she said he walked outside and she followed to see which way he went and saw him get into a red SUV that had a plastic trash bag on the rear passenger window.

“I hollered at him to get out of the car and I kind of followed him down the road yelling stuff and pointing at him,” Williams said.

CCSO Investigator Travis Ludlow also took the stand. He said he was working the day of the robbery and heard dispatchers send out the call about the pharmacy being robbed, so he headed to the scene. As he and other officers spoke with other businesses around the pharmacy trying to identify the vehicle and driver, Ludlow said he received word an SUV matching the description had been located at the home at 297 Keenburg Road.

That night, officers executed a search warrant at the home and found Stout inside as well as some of the medication reported stolen by the pharmacy. Ludlow said Stout cooperated with officers and showed them where he had hidden the clothing he wore during the robbery as well as the weapon he had used, which Ludlow said turned out to be a pellet gun.

Ludlow testified that when he interviewed Stout the man confessed to robbing the pharmacy because he was addicted to pain medication.

“He was upset. He was very remorseful,” Ludlow said. “He stressed he has a pill dependency problem and made a mistake.”

Following the preliminary hearing, Judge Keith Bowers Jr. ruled the State had met the burden of proof for the determination of probable cause and bound the case of to the Grand Jury. Stout will appear in Carter County Criminal Court on Jan. 26, 2018.