Sikeston robbery suspect sought in six others

Friday, October 12, 2001

SIKESTON, Mo. -- One of two brothers who allegedly robbed the Super D Drug Store before wounding a police officer and setting a house on fire is wanted in connection with six other armed robberies across central Missouri.

The other was just paroled from prison after serving seven years for armed robbery.

Troy L. Fenton, 36, of Boonville, Mo., and his brother, Ernest L. Fenton, 43, of Fayette, Mo., were each charged Thursday with first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute and two counts of armed criminal action in the Sikeston robbery.

Prosecutors also are considering arson charges.

Also on Thursday, the Sikeston police detective who was shot in a leg, Lt. Mark Crocker, underwent surgery. Sikeston public safety director Drew Juden said Crocker is expected to "recover fully."

Troy Fenton is wanted in Columbia, Mo., for armed robberies at various restaurants this year. Police have said he is also suspected of committing robberies at restaurants in Fulton, Jefferson City, Boonville and Warrensburg. Ernest Fenton was just let out of prison after serving time for armed robberies.

Columbia police were in Sikeston Thursday to interview the Fentons.

"Both of these men have extensive records," Scott County Sheriff Bill Ferrell said during a news conference.

The Fentons were in the Scott County Jail without bonds after being apprehended Wednesday just north of Sikeston's city limits in a residence where they had fled.

"The heat was on them where they were from and they just happened to end up here," Ferrell said. "It's one of those unfortunate things the interstate brings."

Officer recovering

Crocker was recovering at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau on Thursday. Juden said Crocker underwent a one-hour surgery on his right leg, where he was shot about three inches below the knee. He had wires and pins surgically implanted in his leg, and after 90 to 120 days he will go through physical therapy.

"His spirits are high, he's doing very well," Juden said.

At the news conference, Juden presented a timeline of Wednesday's events.

The suspects entered the Super D shortly after noon, flashed a gun and got away with prescription narcotics including morphine-based painkillers and other controlled drugs.

A witness called 911, reported the robbery and provided a description of the suspects' car, including a license plate number. Contrary to some reports, Juden said there was no pursuit and officers were told by a second caller the direction the suspects were headed.

The suspects drove into a subdivision where they stopped at a house at 106 Little St. near the junction of Route HH and Ingram Road just north of the Sikeston city limits, forced entry and hid.

Juden said local authorities knew it was the residence of a middle-age man with cerebral palsy, whom they later discovered was not at home at the time.

Suspects fired first

Even as someone inside the house fired nine gunshots in the direction of police, no one returned fire until Crocker went down, Juden said. Then one officer returned fire with a single round, Juden said. No one was hit.

As the standoff continued, Juden said the men set fire to the house. The men came out about the time the house was about to become immersed in flames, Juden said.

"Then the suspects surrendered as the fire grew in intensity," Juden said. "They narrowly escaped with their own lives. They very well could have committed suicide."

When the men were arrested, a handcuff key and razor blades were found hidden in the pant pockets of one of the men, he said.

The fire is being investigated by the Missouri fire marshal.

335-6611, extension 137

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