Poplar Bluff police believe man was robbed, assaulted by friends at motel

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Paul Davis/Daily American Republic Poplar Bluff Police Lt. Chuck Stratton (left) and Det. Greg Brainard search the contents of a 2002 Ford Expedition allegedly used in a robbery Monday morning at the Pear Tree Inn in Poplar Bluff.

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — Authorities believe a pair of Georgia men assaulted and robbed a friend Monday morning at a local motel in an apparent attempt to teach him a lesson about his arrogance and "showy" attitude.

The 21-year-old victim, Reggie Lee Lloyd of Neelyville, Mo., apparently was staying in a room at the Pear Tree Inn with three friends from Georgia, including Erntavious Bernard Martin and Clayton Pierce Davis.

Martin, 23, of Albany, Ga., and Pierce, 23, of Leesburg, Ga., were in the Butler County jail this morning on suspicion of first-degree robbery. Pierce also is being held on suspicion of armed criminal action and stealing a firearm.

Martin and Pierce were arrested at about 10:15 a.m. Monday on U.S. 60, about two miles west of Dexter, by Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Larry Clark.

Clark and other officers with the Highway Patrol and Dexter Police Department stopped a 2002 Ford Expedition, being driven by Michael James Weinhoff.

While en route to Pear Tree Inn, just after 9 a.m., "we were advised that the suspects had left in a black or dark colored Ford [sport utility vehicle]," Poplar Bluff Police Patrolman Daniel Mustain said in his report. "Additional information was that the vehicle had Georgia registration and was occupied by at least two individuals."

As officers processed the scene and interviewed Lloyd, Mustain said vehicle information was relayed to the Highway Patrol and Butler County Sheriff's Department.

Lloyd, according to Mustain, reported the alleged robbery occurred in his motel room.

Between 8:50 and 9 a.m., "a white male and black male entered his room while he was in the bathroom," Mustain said. "He stated he recognized the white male as Clayton Pierce ¿ a man he was introduced [to] previously at a club" by a female friend.

"Lloyd stated the white male had stolen his gun, a black Hi-Point .45-caliber pistol, and struck him in the face with the barrel and butt of the gun repeatedly," Mustain said. "Lloyd stated that he was struck to the ground, at which point, they demanded he give them his money.

"Lloyd stated he identified which pocket the money was in and one of the two males reached in his pocket and grabbed it."

Lloyd told officers the men left his room and fled in a black Ford SUV, heading southbound on Westwood Boulevard, Mustain said.

Lloyd, he said, had bruising and swelling to the back of his head, as well as small cuts on his hands. Due to his wounds, emergency medical services personnel responded to the scene.

"Officers made a sweep of the area and parking lots in an attempt to locate the vehicle, but [were] unsuccessful," Mustain said.

A short time later, Clark reported he had spotted the vehicle on U.S. 60, west of Dexter, and a traffic stop was initiated, Mustain said. Weinhoff, Martin and Davis were brought back to Poplar Bluff for questioning.

At about noon, Capt. Mike Elliott and Detective Greg Brainard interviewed Davis after he was told of his rights.

Shortly after the interview began, "Detective [Leigh] Raymer advised that in the course of interviewing Mr. Martin, she had been told that Mr. Davis had pulled money out of his pants and gave it to [Martin]," Elliott said in his report. "She further stated they had recovered the money that Mr. Martin had concealed in the crotch of his pants."

Acting on this information, Elliott said, he searched Davis without results," but did find $241 in his property. Since it had been admitted that he had passed money to a confederate, this money was taken into evidence."

During her interviews, Raymer said, she learned the four men were "close friends" and all had been staying in the room together.

Weinhoff, she said, reported he woke up to "Reggie screaming for help, and at first thought it was a joke. When he went to the bathroom to see what was going on, he saw Reggie in the bathtub bleeding, with the other two standing over him [and] hitting him with the pistol."

At that point, Raymer said, Weinhoff reported yelling at Martin and Davis to "get off him and asking what they were doing.

"He heard Reggie yelling to Erntavious and Clayton 'Here, just take it; it's not worth it,' referring to Reggie's money," Raymer explained. "Then, Michael said he tried to get into the bathroom and they were pushing the door closed."

As Weinhoff "just started grabbing his things in the room, Reggie came out of the bathroom and ran out of the room," Raymer said.

Weinhoff, she said, also fled the room and got into his vehicle.

"He said he was in shock; he didn't know why [Martin and Davis] were doing that," she said. "He was in a panic and didn't know what was going on."

Martin and Davis also got into the SUV, which Weinhoff reportedly stopped at a nearby convenience store for fuel, Raymer said.

While there, "Erntavious and Clayton disposed of the gun they had taken from Reggie in a trash can by the pumps," Raymer said.

During her interview with Martin, Raymer said, he and Davis woke up at the same time.

According to Martin's statement to Raymer, "Reggie was in the bathroom and when he walked out, Clayton hit him in the head and they [Lloyd and Davis] began fighting in the bathroom. Erntavious also said he was part of it."

As to a motive, Martin reported "[Lloyd] was very arrogant about his pistol and real showy about his money and they thought they would teach him a lesson."

Based on the interviews and their investigation, Raymer said, Weinhoff was released.

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