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Conviction overturned, Piqua man facing new charge in connection to attempted Walmart carjacking

Published: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 7:16 PM
By: Nancy Bowman - Contributing Writer

TROY - A Piqua man pleaded not guilty Monday to a new charge stemming from an incident in which police said he tried to steal a woman’s car in the parking lot of the Piqua Walmart.

Robert Riddle’s 2015 conviction for aggravated robbery in the case was recently overturned by an appeals court.

Riddle, 37, pleaded guilty in October 2015 to felony aggravated robbery and breaking and entering in an Aug. 29, 2015, incident.

Piqua police said he fled the parking lot on foot after the woman screamed as he attempted a carjacking. The gun later was found to be a fake, police said. Riddle was found at his trailer following a two-hour manhut. The breaking and entering charge came from a break-in at a nearby property during the search. 

Riddle was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The 2nd District Court of Appeals recently overturned the aggravated robbery conviction. The court wrote that the deadly weapon notation of the charge was negated by the statement of facts of what occurred during the robbery and that the lawyer for Riddle gave him ineffective assistance in advising him to plead guilty. 

Visiting Judge Timothy Campbell of Greene County heard Riddle's not guilty plea Monday, set a pretrial hearing for April 17 and set bail at $50,000. A visiting judge was assigned because the victim was related to a court employee. 

Riddle has served the 12 months ordered on the breaking and entering charge and remains in prison on a sentence ordered in Shelby County on another case. 

If convicted of the new robbery charge, he could be sentenced to up to eight years in prison.