Conviction won in Sonic robbery

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2003

The 22nd Judicial District Attorney Eugenia Loggins was successful Tuesday in prosecuting and obtaining a conviction of Kinte Simmons, 22, and Charles Smith, Jr., 23, in the trial of an armed robbery of Sonic Drive-In in Andalusia more than two years ago, according to Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Gambril.

"We finished a trial that carried over from September," Gambril said. "One of the jurors had a death in the family, and the trial was postponed. We continued the trial on Friday, and we heard closing arguments today."

The two suspects entered the restaurant on Jan. 4 of 2001 and demanded money from employees while holding them at gun point, according to previously published reports. Police officials had reported no injuries from the hold-up. The suspects were also reported to have fled the establishment with an undetermined amount of cash.

Although both suspects allegedly wore clothing to partially conceal their faces, including a silver bandanna and black cap, police positively identified the two men, according to reports.

A third suspect, a juvenile whose name was not released, was arrested that same year in connection with the robbery. The juvenile did not enter the building, according to a police spokesperson.

Gambril said the DA's office is grateful for the diligence of the jury, especially on a day when most businesses and city, state, and county functions are closed.

"This was an extended case for some time," Gambril said. "The jury showed great patience, and they came up here on a federal holiday. We appreciate their service and verdict."

The felony charges against the defendants could be punishable by 10 years to life in prison, but whether or not the two were sentenced could not be confirmed late Tuesday evening. Both Smith and Simmons had been incarcerated at Covington County Jail, with bail set at $30,000 each.