Several indicted by grand jury

The Cole County grand jury handed down indictments in several cases this week, finding there was enough evidence to send them to the circuit courts for possible trial.

Among those indicted were:

• A Jefferson City woman charged with taking more than $100,000 from an elderly woman for whom she was supposed to be caring.

Tiffany Piper, 24, 1125 Madeline Place, is charged with financial exploitation of the elderly. Court documents show Piper used her employer, Home Helpers, to gain access to the victim’s home in Jefferson City. Piper had access to all areas of the victim’s home to provide care for the victim, who is 79 with early onset of dementia.

Between April 20 and May 20, Piper is believed to have stolen nearly $118,000 in jewelry from the victim. More than $76,600 of that amount has been recovered at Piper’s house and at two separate pawn shops. Piper received more than $3,700 from the pawn shops where she sold the victim’s jewelry.

This is the second time Piper committed this crime. The victim in the first crime was not the same as the second victim.

• A Jefferson City man for stealing more than $1,500 worth of smartphones and making a deadly threat to a police officer.

Joshua Guinn, 17, 1104 W. McCarty St., is believed to have committed the crime in November at Capital Mall. Guinn entered Jefferson City Computer Services and concealed the phones in his pockets. The store owner saw this and confronted Guinn, who refused to return the phones and fled the business on foot. The owner gave chase while calling 911.

Guinn was eventually located at a nearby business, and the phones were located hidden inside the business.

While being taken to the Cole County Jail, Guinn made statements that he is a member of a gang “known for killing St. Louis cops.”

Guinn told one of the officers that the officer would be the first Jefferson City officer killed by his gang.

• Three people charged in connection with the Nov. 9 robbery of the McDonald’s restaurant on Jefferson Street.

Fineola Ingram, 24, 122 Ventura Ave., is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery. She was the manager on duty the night the robbery occurred and is believed to have acted in concert with those who actually committed the robbery. Ingram was ordered to remove money from the store’s safe at gunpoint.

Another McDonald’s employee, Stephon Phillips, 25, 1413 Elizabeth St., was also charged with two counts of first-degree robbery in this case.

Joseph Cotton III, 26, St. Louis, was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm for the McDonald’s robbery.

A Jefferson City Police Department probable cause statement shows the robbery occurred around 12:30 a.m., and two suspects, who had their faces concealed, fled the area with an unknown amount of money.

In talking with investigators, Phillips told authorities he and Cotton talked on the phone about the money in the store’s safe and which door Cotton should enter.

Ingram said she heard Cotton was one of two people who committed the actual robbery and tried to talk to him by phone to help in the investigation.

Authorities say Cotton displayed a firearm and threatened physical harm during the robbery.

A recorded conversation involving Ingram contains statements by her saying she participated in the arrangement of the robbery, although she denied any involvement when questioned by authorities.

• A Jefferson City man charged after the Jefferson City Police Department’s community action team served a narcotics search warrant in July at 203 Pine St., Apt. B, as part of an ongoing investigation into the sale of narcotics from that residence.

Deandre L. Grover, 34, Jefferson City, was charged with one count of distribution of narcotics and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Authorities said the initial search revealed limited evidence. However, the department’s K-9 “Buzz” was able to locate approximately a half-pound of marijuana and more than $800 in cash hidden in a closet and in a locked safe.

The marijuana was packaged for sale and bundled with the money.

Additionally, officers located several items of paraphernalia associated with the use and sale of marijuana.

• An employee at Sears at Capital Mall who had been charged with stealing nearly $6,000 in merchandise while working at the store.

Jesse Bates, 25, 112 Amador Ave., is charged with three counts of stealing for events that occurred in September.

A police probable cause statement shows Bates provided a written statement admitting he took the items.

Among the items taken were a vacuum cleaner, a bookshelf, a laptop computer, DVD and Blu-Ray player, a TV, and a washer and dryer.

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