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Jury finds Grove City man guilty in pharmacy robbery

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- A jury found James Howard Stellman, 50, of Grove City, guilty Thursday on three felony charges for robbing the Willmar Prescription Center of numerous types of pain medication and threatening a pharmacy employee last August.

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The verdict, on charges of first-degree aggravated robbery, terroristic th-reats and theft, was returned af-ter about one

hour of deliberation. The two-day jury trial was before Judge Michael J. Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Stellman's bail was revoked and he was ordered into custody after the verdict was read, according to Connie Crowell, first assistant county attorney and the prosecutor in the case.

He will be sentenced July 22.

The likely sentence is a 48-month prison term.

Stellman was arrested by a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy shortly after the Willmar Police Department received a report around 5:40 p.m. Aug. 14 that the Prescription Center had been robbed.

A pharmacy employee had given a description of Stellman and his vehicle, which was located near the intersection of County Roads 8 and 23.

Officers later executed a search warrant on the vehicle and found a 9mm handgun, hat, sunglasses and a white pharmacy bag containing bottles and boxes of Oxycodone or hydrocodone pills and Fentanyl patches.

The pharmacy employee had told police that a tall, thin white male had entered the pharmacy when no one else was present.

The man was wearing medical gauze over his nose, sunglasses and a large-brim canvas hat pulled down low. The man pulled up the front of his shirt to reveal a pistol and demanded pain medication including those marketed under the brand names of OxyContin, Fentanyl and Vicodin.

The employee also said that Stellman threatened that if the employee called police within 10 minutes of his leaving, he would have his brother hunt the employee down and kill him.

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