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Barber shop robbery trial begins

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Opening arguments and the victim's testimony were heard Monday by jurors in the trial of a Midwest man accused in the armed robbery of a Casper barber shop owner last April.

Richard Marshall was arrested May 19 in connection with the Hilltop Barber Shop robbery, though he vehemently denies he was involved in the crime.

District Attorney Mike Blonigen told jurors Monday that he will prove that 34-year-old Marshall not only planned the burglary committed by his three young accomplices but that he also provided the guns to them and took a cut of the money.

The defendant's friends and alleged accomplices - 18-year-old Zachary Smith, 19-year-old Crystal Garrison and 24-year-old Charles Garrison - will testify to Marshall's involvement, Blonigen told the jury.

Smith and Charles Garrison have not been sentenced yet on the robbery charges. Crystal Garrison was sentenced to two to four years in prison, a 7th District Court official said. All entered into plea agreements.

Marshall, however, said he is not guilty and is on trial for aiding and abetting, Marshall's attorney Don Tolin said last month.

Tolin argued Monday that while Marshall knows Smith and the Garrisons, he had nothing to do with their plot to rob the barber. Marshall was at home in Midwest with his wife and kids when the robbery was committed, he said.

Furthermore, Tolin argued, Marshall had been a patron of the barber shop for the last three years and considered himself to be friends with the barber, 28-year-old Chad Sheehan.

Tolin asked the jury to be wary of testimony offered by Smith and the Garrisons because the three of them likely have something to gain.

Authorities say the barber shop robbers split the $250 taken from the barber shop owner.

Sheehan told jurors that he was in his shop, talking on the phone around 10:15 a.m. on the day of the robbery.

He saw two masked people peer through the glass door but thought nothing of it, he said.

"Then the door flung open," said Sheehan, who also testified that those two subjects were followed inside the shop by a third masked person.

Two of the three people had guns and pointed them at his head. The other carried a duffel bag, he told the jury.

The robbers forced him into the bathroom and told him to count to 6,000, while they rummaged through some drawers in the shop and left, he said.

After Marshall's arrest, police alleged he drove the "getaway" car, which was parked behind Sheehan's shop.

Sheehan testified he never saw a vehicle.

The trial continues today in 7th District Court.


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