Rutherford changes plea on day of trial

A man who robbed Stuckey's Shell in 2013 will live out the rest of his days behind bars.
On Monday, Chance M. Rutherford, 26, of Arkadelphia was sentenced to 96 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction plus an additional suspended sentence of 30 years by Circuit Judge Robert McCallum.
Rutherford’s change of plea related to criminal charges filed against him for his involvement in an armed robbery of the Arkadelphia Stuckey’s convenience store in January 2013.
On Jan. 4, 2013, officers with the Arkadelphia Police Department responded to an alarm at the Stuckey’s Shell Station on West Pine Street in Arkadelphia. Officers learned from an employee and in-store video surveillance that a large, white male, armed with a revolver, entered the store wearing gloves, a mask and hooded sweatshirt.
After forcing the employee to the ground at gunpoint, the individual removed money prepared for the sage drop from the counter. The employee activated the panic alarm and the individual fled the store, firing a single shot back into the store as he was fleeing.
Interviews and additional evidence, including testimony from the driver of the getaway vehicle, identified Rutherford as the assailant. Following execution of a search warrant, certain property taken from the robbery was located at Rutherford’s girlfriend’s house in Caddo Valley.
In addition to aggravated robbery, Rutherford was also convicted of aggravated assault, commercial burglary and theft by receiving. Rutherford also entered a plea to charges of possession of a firearm by a felon.
The driver, Montrail Lock, was previously sentenced last year to 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction for his involvement as the driver of the getaway vehicle subject to his agreement to truthfully testify against Rutherford. Rutherford was sentenced as a habitual offender.