MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 21, 2013

Two court actions stem from same robbery case

One man pleads guilty as trial begins for co-defendant

By Elizabeth Ridenour
Phoenix City Editor

— A Muskogee man pleaded guilty to robbery as a jury trial began Monday in Muskogee County District Court for one of his co-defendants.

Rodney Allen Bias, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison with 15 years suspended.

A jury trial began for Mikell Chapman Price, 28, of Tulsa. Witness testimony, which began Monday, will continue this morning.

Price, Bias, Markell Juanye Grass and Robin Dane Hill were each charged with the robbery of Jim Baskins, 77. Baskins stumbled into an east side convenience store Dec. 3 and said that two men had beaten and robbed him at his house on Jefferson Street.

Grass, 20, of Muskogee pleaded guilty Aug. 7. He is serving a 25-year sentence in which he is to serve 12 years in prison and an additional 13 years suspended.

Hill, 21, will be back in court Jan. 17 for a disposition docket. At that time, he will learn what date he will face a jury trial.

Hill, Grass, and Bias were arrested Dec. 4 and were charged with first-degree robbery. Bias was originally held as a material witness.

Price was arrested a few days later at a home in Fort Gibson where he was staying. In that home, police said they found guns that were stolen from Baskins, including three high-powered rifles, two small-caliber rifles and a small-caliber handgun.

Police said Baskins said he knew one of the suspects, and police believe Baskins was targeted by the group because of property they were aware he had.

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at (918) 684-2929 or eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com.