Man accused of robbing adult novelty store set for trial

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A man accused of robbing the Venus Adult Superstore in Texarkana, Ark., in 2017 is expected to face a Miller County jury this month.

Travon Mandell Peoples, 28, faces a mandatory life sentence if found guilty of aggravated robbery because he has a long list of prior felony convictions, some of them violent. Jury selection is scheduled for July 29 before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson at the Miller County courthouse.

Peoples is allegedly one of two men who entered Venus wearing disguises and carrying firearms in the early hours of May 22, 2017. Other suspects have not been identified.

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Using video surveillance, investigators were able to piece together what happened, according to a probable cause affidavit. At 4:40 a.m., a grey 2004 Chevy Impala with Texas plates backed up to the store and parked. In less than a minute, two men exited the car entered through the main doorway. Movement was observed inside the Impala while the two men were inside committing the robbery, indicating that at least one other person remained in the car.

The suspect believed to be Peoples allegedly exited the front passenger side of the Impala wearing a blue and orange ball cap, a blue bandana, clear safety glasses, a long-sleeved black shirt, black pants, black tennis shoes and blue surgical gloves with an assault-style rifle stuffed in the front of his pants.

The unidentified suspect exited from the front driver’s side, wore a black open-faced ski mask, black military-style goggles, a black long-sleeved shirt, black pants, black tennis shoes, blue surgical gloves and had thick dreadlocks. Peoples allegedly carried a handgun.

Peoples allegedly took the clerk’s cell phone away from her when the two men entered. As the first suspect paced back and forth in the front of the store, his hand remained on the grip of the rifle still stowed in his pants.

The unidentified suspect allegedly grabbed the clerk’s shirt at the shoulder and walked her to both cash registers, demanding she open them. Peoples allegedly took cash from both registers before proceeding to the office where he collected two boxes containing employee files and cash and took a brown change box containing cash.

The two men got into the rear of the Impala before the car left the parking lot and traveled towards Interstate 30 from the store’s location at 6780 Highway 108 in Texarkana, Ark. The clerk called 911.

Deputies discovered the Impala abandoned on the westbound shoulder of Interstate 30 near the 5 mile marker. The front driver’s side tire was flat.

Investigators recovered clothing, safety glasses, ammunition and bank bags from the car. DNA collected from the glasses allegedly is a match to Peoples.

Peoples is currently being held in the Miller County jail. He is represented by B.C. Pickett of Fayetteville, Ark. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell is prosecuting.

Peoples’ prior felony convictions include terroristic acts, battery, possession of a controlled substance, aggravated assault, forgery, theft and robbery.

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