A Corbin man arrested in February for allegedly choking and hitting employees at the Save-a-Lot Grocery store who attempted to stop him from leaving the store with a roll of hamburger and a pork tenderloin pleaded guilty to theft and resisting arrest charges.
Forty-year-old Ronnie C. Joyner appeared in Knox Circuit Court for a pretrial hearing in the case Friday morning.
During the hearing, prosecuting and defense attorneys told Judge Greg Lay a plea agreement had been reached.
Under the terms of the agreement, Joyner, who had been indicted in February on charges of second-degree robbery and resisting arrest in connection with the Feb. 10 incident, pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and an amended charge of theft by unlawful taking of the value under $500.
In return for Joyner’s guilty plea, prosecutors recommended a sentence of 12 months in jail, probated for 24 months, provided he have no further legal issues during that time. Joyner will be required to serve 150 days in jail on each charge. The jail time will be served concurrently, meaning for each day Joyner is incarcerated, he will receive credit toward both sentences.
Under Kentucky Law, prosecutors may make a recommendation to the court concerning a plea agreement. However, the judge is not bound by the recommendation.
Joyner is scheduled to return to court at 1 p.m. on April 22 for formal sentencing. If the judge should elect not to accept the recommendation, Joyner will have the opportunity to withdraw his guilty plea and the case will be set for trial. However, Joyner may elect to proceed with sentencing without the recommendation.
Corbin Police who chased him across the parking lot of the Trademart shopping center to a nearby liquor store after they responded to a call from the grocery store arrested Joyner.
According to Corbin Police Capt. Coy Wilson, Joyner was attempting to flee from the store with the meat, valued at $40, concealed on his person. When the employees attempted to bar his escape by standing in front of the door, Joyner allegedly struck one and then choked the second.
Wilson noted that one employee had red marks on his neck from where he had been choked.
When police arrived, store employees reportedly told them that Joyner was last seen running across the parking lot.
Wilson said he located Joyner several minutes later, hiding inside the Liquor Mart liquor store.
“Violator had strong odor of alcohol on his person,” Wilson stated in the arrest citation.
Joyner was transferred to the custody of Lt. Jason Moore. Wilson stated that Joyner continued trying to pull away from Moore, resulting in Moore taking him to the ground.
At his preliminary hearing in Knox District Court, Joyner told Knox District Court Judge John Chappell that he was the victim in the case, stated that he was choked from behind and was forced to defend himself.
Joyner added that he had been in and out of alcohol recovery for about six months and had moved to the Gray area to be with his children.