By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A repeat felon has been sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted in the armed heist of a Yukon retailer.
Justin Joe Bowling, 42, on May 23 pleaded no contest to robbery with a dangerous weapon in Canadian County District Court.
The Moore man was formally charged in March 2022 for a Feb. 17th robbery at Whatchamacallit Tools, 1141 Garth Brooks Blvd. Yukon police investigated the incident inside the Chisholm Center store, which has since closed.
Bowling on May 23 appeared with his attorney Jason Spanich to enter a negotiated plea before Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse.
Judge Hesse accepted Bowling’s no contest plea and found him guilty of the felony offense.
Pursuant to a plea agreement between prosecutors and the defense, Bowling was sentenced to 20 years in Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ custody – with seven years to serve in prison followed by 13 years suspended.
Bowling will be supervised by the state DOC while on probation after his release from prison.
Bowling stole a mobile phone and merchandise – identified in a police report as two Makita 40-volt battery packs and a Stanley brand hammer – from Whatchamacallit Tools in Yukon.
He first tried to leave the store with the merchandise through a back storage room, according to the report.
But the door was locked so he then tried to run out the front doors.
An on-duty store employee tried to keep Bowling from stealing the items by standing in front of the doors.
“The defendant ‘bull rushed’ RJ, which caused both of them to fall to the ground,” a Yukon police investigator wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit.
“During a brief struggle, the defendant grabbed a hammer and raised it as if he were going to strike (the employee).”
The employee then backed away from Bowling to avoid being hit.
Prosecutors alleged Bowling’s actions placed the victim “in fear of immediate and unlawful injury to his person in order to overcome his resistance and rob him of his cell phone and merchandise belonging to Whatchamacallit Tools.”
Bowling left out the front doors of the business with the stolen property.
Robbery with a dangerous weapon is a felony crime punishable by not less than five years in prison.
Bowling faced a longer sentence because of previous convictions in Oklahoma and Caddo counties for grand larceny, possession of controlled substance, and false declaration of ownership in pawn shop.
Bowling served time in state prison in 2012, 2015 and 2016 and had been on probation when he was charged with the Yukon robbery, state Department of Corrections records indicate.
Meanwhile, Bowling pleaded no contest May 23 to larceny of merchandise from retailer, possession of controlled dangerous substance (Fentanyl) and obstructing an officer stemming from an October 2022 case investigated by Yukon Police.
Judge Hesse found him guilty of those crimes and – pursuant to a plea agreement – sentenced him to two years in prison on count one and one year in the county jail on counts two and three.
Those sentences were ordered to run concurrently and concurrent with the robbery case.