One Apollo robbery man pleads not guilty to another crime

Published 10:46 am Friday, May 6, 2016

One of four men charged with robbing Apollo Superette & Liquor has pleaded not guilty to another crime.



Leonard Lamar Booth, 25, of Rochester was charged Thursday in Mower County court with felony theft, gross misdemeanors fifth-degree assault and driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety on April 21.

At about 7:10 p.m. on April 19, Austin police were dispatched to the 400 block of 27th Street Southwest on a report of a stolen vehicle.

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Officers talked to the victim, who said she arrived at her home that evening and found Booth waiting there. She told him to leave her alone but he said he was taking the vehicle and she refused, according to a police report.

He grabbed the car keys out of her hand and went to the car, a 2003 Chrysler Sebring, where a 7-year-old boy was standing by the driver side door. Booth pushed the child out of the way, resulting in scrapes on the boy’s right knee.

The boy’s mother was standing behind the vehicle to prevent Booth from leaving, but he started backing up and she moved out of the way.

The victim gave officers a copy of the title, which indicated she bought it on March 1, 2016, but hadn’t submitted the title yet to reflect proper ownership.

Officers were informed the vehicle was driving east on Interstate 90. When they stopped him, Booth told officers he didn’t have a driver’s license, no insurance because he had just purchased the vehicle off of Craigslist from someone in Stewartville, but he didn’t know their name. He also said he had gotten a DWI in the victim’s vehicle and it had been impounded so he needed another vehicle, the report said.

Booth is also facing charges of felony simple robbery and theft in the Apollo case after he and three other men allegedly robbed the store. He pleaded not guilty to those charges on Dec. 10, 2015.

The pre-trial is scheduled for Sept. 16 and the jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 26 for both cases.