Little Rock game store robber sentenced to 10 years in prison

A second man linked to a trio of 2021 game-store robberies -- one store was held up twice -- has accepted a 10-year prison sentence.

Bishop Lemar Johnson of Little Rock has pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery and theft in exchange for the 10-year term imposed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson, according to sentencing papers filed on Wednesday.

Two other aggravated robbery and theft charges were dropped under the terms of his plea agreement, negotiated by defense attorney Fernando Padilla and deputy prosecutor Cameron Coker. He'll have to serve seven years before he can apply for parole.

Bishop Johnson, 22, and Ronald Edward Jones, 21, had been charged with holding up four Game X Change workers at two stores in October 2021, with Johnson arrested near the site of the final robbery at the store at South Bowman Road, the first store to be held up, court records show.

Jones was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year after pleading guilty to one count each of aggravated robbery and theft along with an unrelated residential burglary charge. He will qualify for early release in 2031.

The robberies occurred over eight days in October 2021 and were carried out by glove-wearing men in hoodies dressed in dark clothes, one of whom carried a gun.

They struck first at the store at 301 S. Bowman Road, holding up two workers. Five days later, the robbers, again only one with a gun, hit the store at 3412 S. University Ave. Each time they were gone before police arrived.

They returned to the Bowman Road store three days after that, where they made a clerk empty the safe. They swiped items off the shelves while running from the store with about $1,000.

Store workers were able to call 911 faster because they had taken to having one employee stay at the back of the store as a safety precaution, and that employee, who'd been a victim in the first holdup, called police.

Police arrived in time to chase down men dressed in dark clothes running from the store. Officers caught a panting Johnson about a block away. He was dressed in black clothes, with a black bag containing $134 in cash and coins, a black bandana, a mask and a cell phone. Johnson told police he'd just gotten off work and the money was his. He refused to answer more questions, court records show.

Jones was found at his apartment on Mara Lynn Road about a half-mile away. He had a bag containing a pistol, mask, gloves and $1,327 along with some plastic-wrapped cell phones with Game X Change labels.

A week after the men's arrest, the Bowman Road store was robbed by a masked gunman dressed in white, who told clerks he wanted the money to bail out his cousin who had been arrested for robbing the store earlier, according to police reports. No arrests have been made.

Johnson's brother, 22-year-old Rashawn Nicholas Kellogg of Little Rock, was later found to have pawned some of the stolen goods and was charged with misdemeanor theft by receiving. Court records show he paid $180 in fines and was sentenced to perform 20 hours of community service, according to police.