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August 24, 2013

Grand jury returns armed robbery indictment

GREENVILLE — A local man with a notorious criminal past has been indicted once again for an alleged armed robbery of a Greenville convenience store in May.

Mark Anthony Young, 35, of Greenville, received an indictment from the Hunt County grand jury Friday on one count of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

Young has already served prison time on previous convictions for armed robbery and was convicted of a federal charge of arson in connection with two set fires at Greenville churches in 1996.

The grand jury returned a total of 61 indictments Friday, 20 of which were issued sealed pending the arrest and arraignment of the person or persons named in the charges. Three “no bills” were also returned.

Young was being held in the Hunt County Jail Friday in lieu of $150,000 bond.

According to a report from the Greenville Police Department, a robbery was reported on the morning of May 16 at the Circle G convenience store at 1700 Stonewall Street in Greenville. A male was alleged to have entered the store, displayed a weapon, and ordered the female employee at the cash register to give him money. The employee complied and the suspect left the store.

The police department’s investigation identified the suspect as Young, who was arrested without incident.

In March 1997, Young pleaded guilty to a federal charge of arson in connection with the June 16, 1996 fire at the Church of the Living God in Greenville. As part of a plea agreement, U.S. Judge Sidney Fitzwater sentenced Young to the eight months he had already served in federal custody and a separate federal charge, alleging Young set the June 9, 1996 arson fire at the New Light House of Prayer in Greenville, was dismissed, as was a pending state level arson charge concerning a set fire at a local residence that same summer.

Young was reported to have an IQ of 53, although he was found to be mentally competent to stand trial prior to the plea hearing.

As part of the plea agreement, Young was placed on three years of supervised release, during which he was ordered to commit no further crimes.

In October 1997, Young was indicted by the Hunt County grand jury on a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity. Young was alleged in the indictment to have acted alongside four local juveniles in stealing eight automobiles from local dealerships during August 1997.

Young later pleaded guilty to two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to two years in a state jail.

Young pleaded guilty again on April 29, 2001, this time to four counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Young was alleged to have committed armed hold-ups at local convenience stores on four occasions between Dec. 13, 2000 and Jan. 4, 2001 and to have stolen two vehicles from Greenville automobile dealerships during the summer of 2000.

Young was sentenced to 12 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division on each of the armed robbery charges and two years in state jail on the stolen vehicle charges, with the sentences to run concurrently.

As a deadly weapon was found to have been used during the commission of the robberies, Young was required to spend at least half of the sentences, or six years, in prison before he could be eligible to be considered for parole.

Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

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