A Powell woman received a five-year sentence and a Knoxville man received a three-year sentence when they pleaded guilty to a robbery in Claxton that authorities said started with an advertisement for escort services posted on backpage.com.
Lindsay Elaine Pressley, 29, entered her plea agreement in Anderson County Criminal and Circuit Court in Clinton on October 29.
Her co-defendant, Richard Paul Pressley, 32, entered his plea agreement last week, on Tuesday, April 2.
As part of their plea deals, an aggravated robbery charge filed against both Pressleys was reduced to robbery. Their charges of especially aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon were reduced to kidnapping. And charges of conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping were reduced to conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping. Charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery remained unchanged. All four charges are felony charges.
In each case, the sentences for the individual charges run concurrently, or at the same time.
Lindsay Pressley was ordered to serve 364 days in the county jail, with credit for time served. The rest of her five-year sentence was suspended, and she was to be placed on supervised probation.
Richard Pressley was also ordered to serve 364 days, with credit for time served, and he was to be placed on supervised probation for the rest of his three-year sentence.
Both Pressleys have been ordered to pay court costs and $600 each to the victim. Neither one of them is allowed to contact the victim or his property.
Ryan M. Spitzer was the prosecutor in both cases, and Don Elledge was the judge. Ann Coria was the defense attorney for Lindsay Pressley, and Kevin Angel was the defense attorney for Richard Pressley.
The Pressleys had been identified as husband and wife in a press release from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department after the robbery and kidnapping were reported in a mobile home on Queen Street in Ben’s Mobile Home Park off Edgemoor Road in Claxton on May 21, 2016.
Affidavits filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton on May 23, 2016, said the victim traveled from Athens to the address provided in the backpage.com ad. The victim “made small talk” with the female, later identified as Lindsay Pressley, for about five minutes when a man brandishing a handgun, later identified as Richard Pressley, entered the living room and ordered Monroe onto the ground, according to the affidavits.
The victim complied, the affidavits said.
“He was then bound with rope, and $600 in cash was taken from him,” according to the affidavits, which were filed by Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Bradley Prewitt.
The victim was put into a back bedroom, but he was able to cut his ropes using a pocket knife and escaped from the trailer through an open window, the affidavits said.
The victim was able to describe the home, a pickup parked in the driveway, and the male and female suspects as well as the suspects’ handgun, the affidavits said.
He said the female suspect had “offered sexual services from various amounts of money” through text messages, according to the affidavits.
Prewitt said he was able to determine that the alleged crime occurred at the Queen Street home, and that the Pressleys were the likely offenders. Among the factors he cited were the descriptions provided by the victim, the use of the backpage.com ad, and the method of the crime. Prewitt said he had “numerous recent encounters” with the Pressleys, and during one of those encounters, they had admitted they had been engaged in a conspiracy to lure victims to their home using a backpage.com posting, then rob the victims in a manner similar to the one allegedly used against the victim in this case.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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