A 65-year-old Texarkana, Ark., man accused of committing seven local armed robberies last year entered pleas of not guilty Tuesday at a hearing in Miller County.
Troy Lee Ware appeared in cuffs and shackles with Texarkana lawyer Tommy Potter at a hearing before Circuit Judge Brent Haltom in a courtroom at the Miller County jail complex. Ware was arrested in January in connection with seven robberies.
Ware pleaded not guilty last month to seven counts of aggravated robbery. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell recently amended the charges against Ware to include two counts of aggravated assault related to Ware's alleged conduct during two of the holdups. Ware pleaded not guilty to those Tuesday.
Ware is accused of robbing a Texarkana, Ark., branch of Bancorp South on Feb. 16, 2017. One of the aggravated assault charges recently added to the list of felonies pending against Ware is alleged to have been committed the same day.
Ware is charged with robbing the Fast & Low convenience store in Texarkana, Ark., on two dates last year: April 24 and Dec. 9. Ware allegedly robbed an Exxon gas station and convenience store June 9 in Texarkana, Ark. He is accused of robbing a Family Dollar store on Oct. 24 in Texarkana, Ark., and Texas Liquor on Oct. 27 in Texarkana, Ark.
The gunpoint robbery of Bancorp South marked the beginning of a months-long investigation for both of Texarkana's police departments. When officers executed a search of a used car business Ware was operating in the 100 block of East Ninth Street in Texarkana, Ark., they allegedly recovered a firearm, a mask, gloves and other items used in the robberies.
Search warrants were also obtained for Ware's cellphone and his residence in the 500 block of Orleans Street in Texarkana, Ark. When police attempted to search the Orleans Street home, Ware hid inside and refused to exit.
Ware, who has a lengthy criminal history, was serving a five-year term of felony probation for theft of property, which he was assessed April 25, 2016, in Miller County. According to a probable cause affidavit in that case, Ware falsely reported that his 2008 Cadillac Escalade had been stolen and received a $14,035.13 settlement from his insurance company. Ware had actually left the Cadillac at an impound lot in Wenden, Ariz., after it broke down. Ware made arrangements for the owner of the impound lot to repair the car, but he never returned for it.
A motion to revoke Ware's probation is currently pending.
Haltom scheduled Ware to return to court next month for a pretrial hearing on the nine new felonies he faces. Each of the two counts of aggravated assault is punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Each of the seven counts of aggravated robbery is punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison.