After deliberating about 90 minutes, a Jefferson County Circuit Court jury found a Pine Bluff man guilty of aggravated robbery and theft of property stemming from an incident in 2019.
Carlton Farris, 29, was convicted of robbing a woman who was shopping at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in the Jefferson Square Shopping Center on Feb. 15, 2019 and taking her purse.
Circuit Judge Alex Guynn sentenced Farris, who had pleaded not guilty, to 40 years in prison on the charge of aggravated robbery and 10 years on the charge of theft of property, with the sentences to run consecutively, or one after the other for a total sentence of 50 years.
Deputy Prosecutor Cymber Tadlock, who with Deputy Prosecutors Beth Carson and Jill Reed represented the state, said Farris will have to serve 70 percent of the total sentence, or 35 years, before he is eligible to apply for parole.
Trial testimony showed that Farris grabbed the victim from the left side around the neck, choking her and dragging her to the ground along with her shopping cart The victim said she was holding onto her purse, which had been placed in the shopping cart and said Farris punched her in the face, causing her braces to go through her lips and her to release the purse.
Farris fled from the store and was chased by the victim, first on foot and then in her car and she saw him throw the purse in a dumpster. When she and Farris reached McDonald’s, Farris pulled the victim’s gun, which had been in the purse, and pointed it at her and she stopped the chase.
The victim had a concealed carry permit.
A witness to the incident who was also shopping at the time also ran out of the store and told police they saw Farris pull out a gun. Officers searched the area and found Farris inside Taco Bell in the 2700 block of Olive Street. The victim’s gun was found wrapped in a hoodie in one of the trash cans inside the business.
When Farris was questioned by police, he admitted robbing the victim, saying that he went into the store to find someone he could steal money from. He said he found the gun in the purse and figured he could sell it for some money but after fleeing the scene he felt things were getting to heated to keep the gun and threw it in the trash. He denied pointing the gun at the victim.
During the penalty phase, jurors were told that Farris had been convicted of robbery by threat, reduced from aggravated robbery in Tarrant County, Texas on June 30, 2015 and had been sentenced to 48 months in a Texas prison. He was on parole at the time of the robbery in Pine Bluff.
Little Rock attorney Omar Green represented Farris during the trial.