Robbery suspect found fit for trial

Cagle

A Lonoke County resident accused of robbing a Vilonia gas station has been found fit to proceed and will stand trial in March.

Cody Lane Cagle, 20, of Cabot faces an aggravated robbery charge, which is a Class Y felony, after reportedly robbing a Vilonia gas station at gunpoint during the early morning hours on Jan. 18, 2019. Cagle was 19 years old when the alleged offense occurred.

During a pretrial hearing held Monday afternoon, Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. found Cagle was fit to stand trial in the robbery case following the forensic report submitted in early December by psychologist Julia Wood.

Wood noted in her forensic evaluation report that though the 20-year-old claimed he suffered from Schizophrenia, the robbery suspect’s alleged symptoms were not consistent with such diagnosis.

“Rather his description sounds more like a history of poor behavioral choices and impulsivity, which are more likely than not attributable to his personality disorder,” the examiner wrote in her report.

According to the forensic report, once Cagle learned he was found fit to proceed in a previous evaluation, “he stopped taking he medication he was taking at that time.” Though he’d stop taking his medications, Wood said it did not appear he suffered from any symptoms when performing her evaluation on Dec. 3.

Overall, the examiner said she believed Cagle was capable of aiding his defense attorney, James Earl Hensley Jr., and that he was able to understand the court process.

The case against Cagle stems from a January incident where he reportedly forced a gas station clerk to give him money. According to the felony probable cause affidavit filed against him, Cagle went into Keith’s Service Center shortly after 5:20 a.m. Jan. 18, 2019, and attempted to cash a $100 bill before threatening a cashier and demanding she give him money.

Cagle first asked the clerk to cash the $100 bill and instead asked her to cash a $20 bill when she said she couldn’t not cash the larger bill. The cashier OK’d exchanging smaller bills for the $20 bill when suddenly, Cagle “pulled out a black, semi-automatic hand gun and demanded the money” in the register, the affidavit states.

As she handed over the money, the clerk told police that Cagle took her phone and fled in a white Kia Soul that was parked in a nearby parking lot.

Vilonia Police Department Lt. Tony Hartwick said authorities had AT&T track the woman’s phone when they learned it was in Cabot. From there, officers went to the last place the phone was pinged at but were unable to find it, according to the affidavit.

As the investigation picked up, Hartwick learned the White County Sheriff’s Office was looking for a man who matched Cagle’s description who had reportedly robbed the Shell gas station in El Paso around 4:30 a.m. the same day.

When questioned by police about the incidents, Cagle reportedly confessed to both robberies.

“Cagle said that he went to the El Paso store and robbed it, and then went to Vilonia and robbed Keith’s,” the affidavit reads in part.

Online records show Cagle pleaded guilty in October 2019 to one count of aggravated robbery regarding the El Paso gas station robbery and was sentenced to serve 13 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

The Cabot man is currently scheduled to stand trial March 25-26 in Faulkner County Circuit Court on the second aggravated robbery charge.

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.

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CpdGay

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