July 24, 2014

Man pleads guilty to robbing KFC store in Belleville in 2012

The trial of a man accused of the armed robbery of a Belleville fast food restaurant ended with a guilty plea to robbery on Wednesday.

Kendrez Murphy, 20, was on trial for the Sept. 26, 2012 robbery of the manager of the KFC at 4914 W. Main Street in Belleville.

On Wednesday, during the middle of the trial, Murphy pleaded guilty to the robbery charge. In exchange for his guilty plea, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida sentenced him to two years of probation, along with time served in the County Jail awaiting trial.

The store's manager was held up by two men at gunpoint. The manager was carrying a bank bag.

The two men, one wearing a black hoodie, the other wearing a gray hoodie, approached the man on the parking lot, police said, then one displayed a small black gun and told the manager, "Give me the money."

One of the suspects then hit the manager and he fell to the ground, police said. The suspect grabbed the bag and fled.

Murphy was arrested Oct. 1, 2012, by Belleville Police Officer Jeffrey Jensen, who testified Tuesday that he found cartridges for a BB gun inside Murphy's car at the time of his arrest.

"You didn't find a gun in the car, though?" asked Murphy's attorney, Dennis Hatch.

"No gun," Jensen responded.

Under questioning from Hatch, Jensen testified that carbon dioxide cartridges are often used with BB guns that can look very similar to handguns.

Murphy's codefendant, Daniel D. Fisher, 19, pleaded guilty to armed robbery in October and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

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