Serving as a lookout, that's what one defendant says another did during a threatening robbery by gunpoint at a Pauls Valley residence last summer.
Just days after taking a plea deal that includes prison time, a shackled Kevin Maine, 35, testified the last of three defendants in the case, Shawn Holtz, 39, did agree to be a lookout when two people were robbed at Holtz' house in the early morning hours of July 2, 2018.
Holtz, Maine and Katie Popejoy, 40, were all formally accused of conspiring together to confront and rob Elizabeth White and Jeremy Nelson on the belief they might be informants working with law enforcement.
According to Maine, he and Popejoy planned to pull off the heist while Holtz agreed to keep an eye out so the robbery wouldn't be interrupted.
“He basically watched the front door during the robbery,” Maine said during a preliminary hearing for Holtz on Thursday, March 14 in a Garvin County District courtroom.
“He said that he would watch the front door.”
According to Maine, the plan to pull off a robbery came after he was asked to fix White's phone, where he claims to have seen some text messages leading them to believe she was an informant.
“She was having a conversation with the police,” he said about the texts.
Later a discussion and the planning for the robbery came as they were in Holtz' vehicle on the way to Stratford to pick up White and Nelson just before the incident occurred.
“Me and Katie were talking about robbing them. I had a gun to rob Elizabeth and Jeremy. It was Shawn's gun.
“The day before me and Shawn were going to Norman and he handed me the pistol to borrow. I was having some other problems in Norman, and I thought I needed a gun.”
Once the group arrived back in Holtz' house Maine said he pulled a gun as the robbery began in a living room.
“I robbed Jeremy and Elizabeth of their money and drugs and a duffle bag,” Maine said, adding the bag contained tattoo equipment. “I said I was going to shoot them.
“I told them to remove their clothes to see if they were wearing a wire.”
During this time he claims Holtz remained a few feet away in the home's kitchen.
Still holding them at gunpoint, Maine testified he later escorted first Nelson and then White out the front door where they were released.
During this week's hearing attorneys on both sides argued their case.
“Did he ever in any way stop you and Katie from doing this robbery,” asked Garvin County Assistant District Attorney Laura McClain as Maine's answer was “no.”
“So, from your perspective Mr. Holtz never said they should rob them,” said defense attorney Robert Rennie Jr. of Pauls Valley as he questioned Maine.
“Being present and participating in the plan are two different things.”
The start of the preliminary hearing actually came back in late February. Afterwards it was announced Maine and Popejoy were accepting plea deals.
Maine's deal was finalized on Monday, March 11 when he offered new pleas for seven felony counts.
For a robbery charge Maine was given a 20-year suspended sentence, which runs consecutive to the 15-year prison term he was given for each of the other six counts.
Set to run concurrent to each other, those charges include kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy and firearm possession after a previous conviction. Two other counts were dismissed against Maine.
Popejoy was previously sentenced to 25-year prison terms after she pleaded no contest to six criminal charges. Each is to run concurrent to the other.
She was also handed a 15-year suspended term for a robbery charge.