Additional information still being collected in travel stop robbery case


A London man appeared in Laurel Circuit Court Monday where the court was told that additional discovery the prosecution is waiting on has not yet been received.

John Schell, 50, of 221 Pleasure View Road is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, two counts of second-degree fleeing or evading police and first-degree persistent felony offender.

In Monday's pretrial conference, an assistant with the Commonwealth Attorney's office said his office was still waiting on photos and videos from the business where the incident took place and a statement and medical records from the victim of the assault. To give time for collecting that information, another court date was set for 9 a.m. Dec. 16.

Schell's charges were presented by a Laurel County grand jury in August.

Schell was indicted for an incident that occurred on March 1. According to Laurel County Sheriff's Office, the investigation began when two individuals reportedly shoplifted electronic items and tools from Love's Travel Stop on KY 770 in southern Laurel County, carrying the stolen items to their vehicle around 6:25 a.m. that day.

When the manager confronted the pair at their vehicle, the male subject, who was driving the vehicle, reportedly fled the scene striking the manager in the leg with his vehicle and continued away from the scene headed westbound on KY 770.

A description of the green colored van was broadcast to deputies on patrol. A few minutes later, Laurel County Sheriff's Office Deputy Shannon Jones met the suspect vehicle on KY 312 at the intersection of KY 363, which is about five miles from the scene of the robbery. Deputy Jones made a turnabout activating his emergency equipment however the suspect vehicle failed to stop traveling northbound on KY 363, turning onto Locust Grove Road, and finally turning onto Dewberry Lane, according to the Laurel County Sheriff's Office.

The suspect vehicle reportedly nearly struck several children awaiting their school bus and traveled a short distance to where the roadway ends. The suspects fled on foot into the heavily wooded area there. The van was chased over four miles, according to the release from the Laurel County Sheriff's Office.

Schell was identified as a suspect after the Laurel County Sheriff's Office received numerous tips after publishing surveillance photos of the suspects.

After Laurel County Sheriff John Root received a tip on the suspect's location, Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives traveled to Pleasure View Road, approximately two miles south of London, with a Laurel District Court warrant of arrest obtained by Laurel Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Chris Edwards, where Schell was arrested in his mobile home without incident.

The 2006 Chevrolet van that Schell was operating during the robbery was a reported stolen vehicle, according to the Laurel County Sheriff's Office release.

Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, Public Affairs Officer for the Sheriff's Office, previously said the female involved in the incident was not being charged with any offenses.

"She was just along and wasn't seen stealing anything," Acciardo said. "She wasn't even with him when the pursuit took place - he (Schell) had dropped her off somewhere before that. We don't expect to bring any charges against her at this time."

Schell is lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center where he is being held on a $50,000 cash bond. Schell also requested on Monday that his bond amount be modified, but that was overruled by Judge Greg Lay.

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