Woman convicted for Canton robbery

By DeeAnna Haney | Nov 08, 2013
Ashley Dodd

A woman who robbed a Canton convenience store clerk at knifepoint in February will spend between five and seven years in prison following a jury trial last month.

Ashley Nicole Dodd, now 25, entered the Smoky Mountain Express the night of Feb. 13 wearing an orange ski mask, dark clothes and yielding a knife.

“She threatened the life of the clerk saying she would slit her throat if she didn’t give her the money,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones, who prosecuted the case.

Dodd made away with about $2,200 and jumped into a getaway vehicle, driven by Stephen Luke Stuart, also 25.

Video surveillance and witness statements were not enough for Canton police to identify Dodd as the suspect.

A few weeks after the robbery, a woman told detectives she saw a white truck parked near the store that night and a person in a ski mask enter the truck. Det. Shawn Gaddis with the Canton Police Department reviewed video surveillance and took note of a white truck similar to the one described.

About a month after the robbery, Sgt. Jason Hughes recognized the truck at the same gas station while on patrol. He pulled the truck over after he noted the driver was speeding and arrested Stuart on warrants out of Buncombe County and Dodd for possession of drug paraphernalia.

During separate interviews, Stuart admitted that he dropped Dodd off and picked her up after the robbery. Dodd also admitted to the crime.

Dodd’s attorney made a motion to suppress her statement in which she admitted guilt, but that motion was denied when the matter came to court Oct. 15. After a jury trial, Dodd was found guilty of armed robbery and was sentenced to 64 to 89 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.

Stuart testified against Dodd at the trial. Having cooperated with law enforcement and prosecutors, he was given a probationary sentence after later pleading guilty to common law robbery, which is a lesser included felony offense, said Jones.

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