Pomeroy man arraigned on aggravated robbery charge

By Sarah Hawley - shawley@civitasmedia.com

POMEROY — The Pomeroy man accused of robbing a Syracuse gas station at knife point was arraigned on Thursday afternoon in Meigs County Common Pleas Court.

Derek Nichols, 27, was indicted by the grand jury on Wednesday on the single count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, in connection with the Jan. 27 robbery.

In addition to that case, Nichols was indicted on a second-degree felony charge of burglary for an incident which reportedly occurred on Dec. 30.

Prosecutor James K. Stanley requested bond be set at $500,000 in the cases. Judge I. Carson Crow accepted the bond recommendation as presented. Public defender Jenny Evans was appointed to represent Nichols. An initial pretrial in the case is scheduled for March 1, with a final pretrial on March 22 and trial date of April 13.

According to previous Sentinel reports, at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Jan. 27, an individual reportedly entered the TNT Gas Station on Route 124 in Syracuse, demanding money while in possession of a knife.

While the suspect was reported to have worn gloves and a mask to conceal his identity, the suspect reportedly took off one of his gloves to remove cash from the drawer, which exposed a tattoo that the clerk observed. Video surveillance footage confirmed a tattoo on the suspect’s right hand.

Deputy Jeff Perry, being familiar with Nichols in a burglary investigation, went to Nichols residence on Jan. 28 and questioned Nichols about the robbery. According to the sheriff’s office, Nichols gave conflicting stories of his whereabouts during the time of the robbery and denied any knowledge of the robbery. Nichols consented to photos being taken of the tattoo on his right hand. Deputy Perry showed the clerk the photo and she confirmed that tattoo being the same tattoo as the suspect of the robbery. When Deputy Perry returned to speak with Nichols, Nichols had reportedly left in his father’s vehicle.

A warrant for Nichols’ arrest was issued for the unrelated burglary charge and he was arrested by the West Virginia State Police, Spencer Detachment, in the evening hours of Jan. 28.

Upon Nichols’ arrest, cash was seized from his person which was consistent with cash that would be in a cash drawer, according to the sheriff’s office. Nichols waived extradition to Ohio and was picked up by the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 8. Deputy Joe Barnhart interviewed Nichols about the armed robbery of the TNT Gas Station, where Nichols reportedly gave a full confession to committing the robbery, according to the sheriff’s office.

By Sarah Hawley