1 of 4 suspects in 2016 armed robbery at Nacogdoches motel accepts 19 years in prison

1 of 4 suspects in 2016 armed robbery at Nacogdoches motel accepts 19 years in prison
Amber Holloway (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Amber Holloway (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - One of four suspects in an armed robbery that occurred at a Nacogdoches motel in June of 2016 accepted a plea deal of 19 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison Wednesday.

Joseph Clay Hardy, 32, of San Augustine, appeared in the 420th Judicial District Court for a plea bargain hearing Wednesday. As part of the deal, he pleaded guilty to first-degree felony aggravated robbery, according to Andrew Jones, an assistant prosecutor with the Nacogdoches County District Attorney's Office.

Jones said Holloway pleaded guilty to a felony aggravated robbery charge on May 18, and she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in the crime.

Hardy, Jeffry Sowell, Ashley Strickland, and Amber Holloway were all indicted for the June 15, 2016, robbery at the Econo-Lodge Motel, which is located at 2020 Northwest Stallings Drive in July of 2016.

According to the arrest affidavit, officers with the Nacogdoches Police Department were dispatched to the Econo-Lodge Motel located at 2020 Northwest Stallings Drive on June 15 in reference to an armed robbery that had just occurred.

When they got to the scene, they found the victim, who was sweating profusely and breathing hard. The man appeared to be distraught, and he had several cuts and scrapes that were "fresh and bleeding."

The alleged victim told the NP officers that he had just been robbed by two unknown men and two women. He said that he knew one of the women, according to the affidavit.

The man told police that he, Holloway, and another woman checked into the motel together to "'chill' and just hang out together," the affidavit stated. While they were in the room, the unknown woman kept pacing back and forth across the room and would go to the bathroom repeatedly.

According to the affidavit, the alleged victim said the woman was acting very nervous.

After Holloway told the man that the second woman was just hungry, the alleged victim gave the second woman some cash and said he would pay for some food from Burger King if she would go get it for them, the affidavit stated.

The unknown woman left the motel in the same white pickup they had arrived in, and the alleged victim stayed in the room and talked, the affidavit stated.
"He was writing some sheet music, and Holloway was on her cell phone," the affidavit stated.

When the unknown woman returned to the motel room, the alleged victim opened the door. After the woman entered the room, he was then "bum-rushed" by two men that he didn't recognize, the affidavit stated.

The men allegedly pushed the alleged victim back onto the bed. At that point, the victim tried to get up, and one of the men that he recognized as Holloway's boyfriend pointed a pistol at him and demanded to know where the money was.

According to the affidavit, the man told police that he heard someone scream, "No" and a shot was fired. The shot went above him and into the motel room's furniture.

The victim then began struggling with the man with the gun as the other male suspect grabbed the victim's wallet, which contained $350 in cash and a debit card and a cell phone from the desk, the affidavit stated. The second man also began rummaging through the motel room's other furniture as if he was looking for something else.

During the fight, the alleged victim managed to escape, and he ran out of the motel room, the affidavit stated. He fell down repeatedly as he ran toward office.

The man told police that he saw Holloway and the other woman leave in the white truck. They were followed by a white car containing the two men, the affidavit stated. Both vehicles fled the scene as he ran into the motel's office.

Further investigation revealed that Hardy and Holloway were the ones that set up the robbery, the affidavit stated.

Holloway has had at least one other run-in with the law. Back in December of 2012, she was arrested by San Augustine County Sheriff's deputies after she allegedly tried to choke another woman who had a 13-month-old boy in her arms.

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