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Suspect pleads not guilty to store robbery

By BRIAN BOHNERT
STAFF WRITER
The man accused of robbing an East Lytle Street convenience store at gunpoint last month entered a plea of not guilty out of Seneca County Common Pleas Court Friday.
Dakota M. Sharninghouse, 19, appeared before Judge Michael P. Kelbley Friday afternoon for arraignment and pleaded not guilty to a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery. The judge set the suspect’s bond at $50,000 with 10 percent allowed.
Previously, Sharninghouse had been held on $500,000 cash or surety bond in Tiffin-Fostoria Muncipal Court prior to being bound over to Seneca County Common Pleas Court.
Sharninghouse, who is listed as “transient” or homeless in court records, is accused of robbing the Circle K store at 551 E. Lytle St. Feb. 27.
The crime took place shortly after 9 p.m. when a male wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and a dark red ski mask brandished a handgun and demanded money from the clerk. Surveillance footage showed the subject entering the store without a ski mask before the robbery occurred.
The suspect, described as being 5-foot-6 to 6 foot, placed roughly $190 into a bag and fled west on foot before officers arrived on scene, according to radio traffic. Police then checked the area for signs of the subject, including footprints in the snow.
No one was hurt in the robbery and no shots were fired.
Police issued a warrant for Sharninghouse Feb. 28, listing him as armed and “extremely dangerous.” The suspect turned himself in to Wood County sheriff’s deputies at approximately 3 p.m. Feb. 28 and was then transported to Fostoria City Jail by Fostoria Police Sgt. William Campbell.
If convicted of the crime, Sharninghouse could face up to 11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
The alleged accomplice in the robbery, 19-year-old Zachary T. Spires, entered a plea of not guilty earlier this week to the first-degree felony charge of complicity to aggravated robbery. Spires is accused of serving as Sharninghouse’s getaway driver after the suspect fled the store on foot.
Spires’ bond was set at $50,000 with 10 percent allowed, as well as electronic monitoring. If convicted of the crime, Spires could also face a sentence of up to 11 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Sharninghouse’s next appearance before a judge will be for a pretrial hearing at 10:30 a.m. on April 17, and then again for his formal plea date at 9:30 a.m. May 6.

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