1 of 3 people who beat, stripped, robbed Shelby County man accepts 20-year prison sentence

1 of 3 people who beat, stripped, robbed Shelby County man accepts 20-year prison sentence
Kevin Askew (Source; Shelby County Jail)
Kevin Askew (Source; Shelby County Jail)

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - One of three suspects in a Shelby County aggravated robbery in which three people allegedly beat a man with a baseball bat and their fists, threatened him with a knife, stripped him naked, tied him with electrical cord, and stole property from him accepted a plea bargain deal of 20 years in prison last month.

According to the court document East Texas News obtained Monday, Tobby Mardis, appeared in the 123rd Judicial District Court on June 29, and pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony aggravated robbery charge.

As part of the agreement, Mardis, of Center, waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to a sentence of 20 years in a Texas Department of Criminal justice prison. He also got credit for time served for the time he spent in the Shelby County Jail from Dec. 31, 2016, to June 29, 2017.

Mardis was indicted for first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping, first-degree felony aggravated robbery, first-degree felony engaging in organized criminal activity second-degree felony aggravated assault, and third-degree felony possession of a firearm by a felon back in March.

ccording to the arrest affidavit, an SCSO deputy met with the victim at the sheriff's office on Dec. 17, 2016. The man told the deputy that he wished to file assault charges on Askew.

The alleged victim explained to the SCSO deputy that he met with another man at the Valero gas station in Center to sell him a set of car speakers late in the evening of Dec. 13, 2016. When he got there, he noticed that the man was with Kevin Askew, who was also indicted in connection to the robbery, the affidavit stated.

The man told the alleged victim that he wasn't the one who wanted the speakers; Askew was. After they ended their business, the victim agreed to give Askew a ride to a friend's home on County Road 1168.

According to the affidavit, when they got to the house on CR 1168, the victim noticed that Askew appeared to have passed out. Because the victim was unable to rouse Askew, he left him in the vehicle to sleep and drove to a friend's house in Martinsville.

The next morning, the alleged victim went back to the first home and found that Askew was awake. He and Askew then went to a friend's home in Nacogdoches and found that person wasn't there.

"During this time, Askew received a text message stating that his girlfriend had been in an automobile accident," the affidavit stated. "Askew then asked [the victim] to take him home to change clothes and then take him to the hospital where his girlfriend was."

While they were on the way to Askew's house, Askew asked the victim if he "had seen a small pouch he was missing." The two of them then pulled over and searched the vehicle, the affidavit stated.

At that point, Askew told the victim that his cell phone had run out of juice and asked to borrow the other man's phone.

When they got to Askew's house, the victim sat down on a couch in the back room after he went to the bathroom. He told the SCSO deputy that there were several people at the home when he got there.

A few minutes later, Askew was holding a wooden baseball bat when he came back into the room, the affidavit stated. Askew then allegedly hit the victim several times with the bat, hitting him in the right side of his head and on his right leg. Askew also punched him in the face, the affidavit stated.
The victim told the deputy that while Askew was assaulting him, he was accusing him of taking the missing pouch, the affidavit stated. Then the man referred to as "TJ," who was later identified as Mardis, allegedly stood over him with a large black "hunting-type knife."

According to the affidavit, the victim said he lay unconscious on the couch for about an hour before Askew and the two other men stripped him naked. One man then tied him up with an electrical cord, and put him on the floor.

While the victim was still tied up, Askew allegedly called his friend in Nacogdoches, who agreed to come to the house.
A woman came into the room holding the victim's cell phone and told him that she was going to keep it the affidavit stated.

A short time later, the victim's friend arrived and convinced the men to untie him, the affidavit stated. Askew had the man fill out a bill of sale for his vehicle and took the keys, according to the affidavit.

Before the victim was allowed to leave, Askew allegedly told him he needed to pay $300 within the next 24 hours.

When the SCSO deputy asked the victim why it took him so long to report the alleged assault, he said he had been in bed with a concussion and could not get up, the affidavit stated.

An SCSO investigator met with the victim on Dec. 21, 2016, and asked him some more questions. The victim described the electrical cord he was tied with and the wooden bat. He also identified the man with the knife he referred to as TJ as "Toby."

When the investigator asked what role the woman had in the events, the victim said that while he was tied up, she was "acting like the mediator and kept telling him that if he would give them what they want, everything would be better," the affidavit stated.

The victim also told the investigator that after his friend arrived, the woman told him she was keeping his iPhone 6, the affidavit stated. She allegedly gave him the phone's sim card and told him she would sell the phone back to him for $175.

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