Back-to-back armed robberies earn Hawkins teen 8 years

Jeff Bobo • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Mount Carmel teen who robbed two east Hawkins County convenience stores at gunpoint on the same night last December was sentenced Friday to eight years.

Austin Allen Swarthout, 19, 446 Old Hickory Circle, Mount Carmel, pleaded guilty Friday before Hawkins County Criminal Judge John Dugger to two counts of aggravated robbery.

Swarthout must serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole, and he was also fined $900.

Both robberies took place the night of Dec. 11, 2016.

The first robbery occurred at the Church Hill Quick Stop market on East Main Boulevard shortly before 9 p.m.

Swarthout reportedly entered the store, pulled out a chrome or stainless steel revolver with what appeared to be a six-inch barrel and placed it on the counter and demanded money out of the cash register.

The second robbery took place an hour later at Dollar General, located at 105 Francisco Lane just off Carters Valley Road in Mount Carmel.

A witness told police the gunman dressed in black, wore white shoes and had a red bandanna over his face. He brandished a silver handgun and demanded money.

Swarthout came to the attention of law enforcement after he apparently was overheard by a witness admitting to the robbery, after which that witness informed authorities.

The day after the robberies, the Church Hill Police Department and Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Swarthout’s residence, where they recovered the clothing he wore during the robberies and a realistic looking b.b. pistol and $242 in cash.

Other guilty pleas heard Friday by Dugger include:

* Alfonso Christopher Cedeno, 27, of Kingsport, who was sentenced to 15 years at 30 percent for attempted aggravated child abuse (of a child under 8).

* Daniel Lee Greene, 47, of Church Hill, who was sentenced to six years and fined $2,250 for three counts of violation of the Habitual Motor Offender Act, three counts of no insurance, possession of drug paraphernalia and registration violation.

* Kenneth Lynn Gilliam, 39, of Mount Carmel, who was sentenced to two years probation and fined $200 for three counts of domestic assault and possession of a handgun while under the influence.


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