PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 06/16/2017 3:55 p.m.
A Ritchie County man accused of firing a gun while fleeing a south Parkersburg business in November was sentenced Friday in Wood
County Circuit Court.
Dustin Franklin, 23, of Petroleum pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2 to 10 years in prison on a methamphetamine charge and three years on a wanton-endangerment charge.
Judge Robert Waters ordered the sentences to run consecutively. He was given credit for 216 days already served.
A Wood County grand jury indicted Franklin in January on seven other counts related the incident, which began at the Tractor Supply store on Pike Street.
Police say store employees tried to stop Franklin after suspecting him of shoplifting. He then struck store employees and ran across Pike Street into a field near Wal-Mart.
That’s when police say shots were fired.
Police arrested him a short time later.
Franklin remains in the North Central Regional Jail.
UPDATE: 11/22/2016 5:37 p.m.
The preliminary hearing for the man accused of robbing a tractor supply store in south Parkersburg has been continued.
Dustin Franklin fled on foot after allegedly trying to shoplift at the tractor supply store last Tuesday.
Parkersburg police believe he fired his weapon while fleeing the scene.
Tuesday, his preliminary hearing was continued in Magistrate Robin Waters' court because the defense attorney assigned to the case had a conflict.
The case was reassigned to another public defender and a new preliminary hearing date will be set at a later date
UPDATE: 11/16/2016 5:57 p.m.
The new preliminary hearing has been set for the man accused of robbing a tractor supply store in South Parkersburg.
It will be held on November 22nd at 2:30pm.
Magistrate Robin Waters set Dustin Franklin's bond at 75-thousand dollars at his arraignment hearing Tuesday.
Franklin was allegedly spotted shoplifting from the tractor supply store on Pike Street Tuesday morning.
When confronted by store employees police say he struck them and fled on foot in the direction of Walmart.
He allegedly began to fire shots in a nearby wooded area.
Franklin has been charged with wanton endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The incident began when a man was spotted shoplifting from the Tractor Supply store off Pike Street late Tuesday morning.
When store employees tried to stop him, Parkersburg Police say the suspect struck the employees, then fled on foot in the direction of the Wal-Mart across the street.
While heading to a nearby wooded area, police say he then began firing shots.
"There were shots fired at store employees, and that's a concern," said Lt. Greg Collins, Parkersburg Police Department. "There were shots fired as officers were getting close, probably within 10-15 yards of the suspect as he was trapped in the wooded area. They used great restraint in not returning fire, and continued to close in untl they took him into custody, without incident."
Because this has become one of Parkersburg's busiest shopping areas, there was as much concern for peoples' safety, as there was for apprehending the suspect.
"Shutting down Pike Street was a priority and had to be done at some point," Lt. Collins said. "We slowly but surely got the area contained, and as more help arrived, we got officers where they needed to be to keep everybody safe."
UPDATE: 11/15/2016 4:30 p.m.
According to Police Chief Joe Martin, the robbery suspect, Dustin Blake Franklin, 23, from Petroleum W.Va., is being held at the Wood County holding center.
He has been charged with wanton endangerment and prohibited person (felon in possession of a firearm).
His bond was set at $75,000 and he was arraigned by Wood County Magistrate Joe Kuhl right around 3 o'clock.
Franklin remains in custody at this time.
Additional charges will be filed at a later time.
Parkersburg police have a suspect in custody following a robbery this morning at the Tractor Supply store in south Parkersburg.
Police Chief Joe Martin says the suspect fired a weapon during the robbery.
He was taken into custody just before noon outside the Wal-Mart on Pike Street.
Traffic on Pike Street was briefly shut down during the investigation, but the road has been reopened.
We'll bring you more details as they become available.