Driver pleads guilty to running down joggers

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In this file photo, Vincent T. Anderson is escorted to the Jackson Courthouse for his preliminary hearing Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 11, 2012. (Laura Simon)

An Arkansas man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge in connection with an Oct. 28 incident in which he is accused of stealing a car and running down three joggers in Cape Girardeau.

Vincent T. Anderson, 19, faces up to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors initially charged Anderson with five felony counts but amended the first charge to include all three victims and dropped the remaining charges in exchange for an admission of guilt.

Anderson was accused of stealing a 1994 Ford Thunderbird from Kidd's convenience store on Broadway and deliberately driving it into a group of joggers, striking three of them -- Southeast Missouri State University provost Ron Rosati, Paul Schell and Laura Sheridan.

None of the victims was seriously injured.

According to court documents, police took a smartphone from Anderson's passenger, Marcus E. Jones, 27, that contained videos in which the men talked about stealing the vehicle and hitting pedestrians.

Prosecutors said in one of the videos, Anderson said he and Jones "had fun like on 'Grand Theft Auto,'" a popular video game.

In December, Judge Gary Kamp sentenced Jones to 90 days in county jail for his role in the car theft. Jones pleaded guilty to vehicle tampering in October and was convicted of resisting arrest in November.

Prosecutors said Jones told Anderson to hit the runners.

During a motion hearing Tuesday, Judge Scott Thomsen asked Anderson to describe, in his own words, what he did. Anderson seemed confused by the question and offered no description or explanation for his actions.

Sentencing is set for May 21.


Pertinent address:

100 Court St., Jackson, Mo.

William Street and South Main Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

1325 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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