Gallipolis Ferry man pleas in robbery

Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT — A Gallipolis Ferry man accused in the March 2015 robbery of the Henderson Cafe has entered into a plea agreement.

Tyler D. Wamsley, 22, recently appeared before Judge David W. Nibert in Mason County Circuit Court and entered a plea of guilty to the felony offense of robbery in the second degree.

Wamsley was indicted by the September 2015 term of the grand jury for armed robbery in the first degree and petit larceny. In exchange for the guilty plea to robbery in the second degree, a lesser contained offense in the indictment, the petit larceny charge would be dropped.

The West Virginia Code states for those convicted of this crime, the possible sentence is confinement in a correctional facility for not less than five nor more than 18 years. Wamsley’s conviction and sentencing orders have not yet been filed in circuit court.

However, Wamsley’s plea agreement also states he shall be granted probation and participate in and complete a long-term inpatient rehabilitation program for at least six months. After completion of rehab, he will be placed on probation and, as a special condition of probation, must enroll and participate in the Mason County Day Report Center program. Wamsley was to remain housed at the Western Regional Jail until accepted into a long-term inpatient treatment program. The plea agreement then states there have been no promises or representations made to Wamsley by the state as to what the final disposition of this matter will be. As of Thursday evening, Wamsley was still housed at the Western Regional Jail.

As previously reported, Wamsley was charged with the March 19, 2015, robbery of the Henderson Cafe, a West Virginia Lottery location on Wilson Street.

According to the official criminal complaint filed in Mason County Magistrate Court, a man brandishing a knife entered the Henderson Cafe on March 19, demanding the clerk on duty give him money. The clerk complied and the armed robber got away with less than $200.

The clerk told personnel with the Mason County Sheriff’s Department though he didn’t personally know the suspect, he recognized the suspect as a customer who had just left the business minutes before the robbery. The clerk said this customer was about six feet tall, black hair, was wearing ball cap and a black “Eddie Guerrero” shirt that he described as having a picture of the face of professional wrestler Eddie Guerrero with red lettering spelling the wrestler’s name.

The customer left and then a few minutes later allegedly came back in with his face and head covered by bandanas, but wearing the same shirt. The clerk said he could see the suspect’s short black hair under the bandana.

Tips identifying the suspect’s vehicle led to the clerk tentatively picking Wamsley out of a photo lineup, but the clerk couldn’t be 100 percent certain.

Wamsley was arrested on separate, unrelated charges during a traffic stop March 22, 2015, and his red Toyota pickup truck was towed. After obtaining a search warrant, a search of the truck yielded a small bladed knife and gray plastic bag. The suspect allegedly asked the clerk to place the money into a gray plastic bag.

Attempts to secure the video surveillance from the cafe were hampered by “corrosion” on the old system preventing the immediate availability of the images of the robbery. The hard drive was secured by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, which later delivered the footage to the sheriff’s department on May 11, 2015. Upon review of the footage, Wamsley was charged with the crime.

Representing the state in this case was Prosecuting Attorney R. Craig Tatterson. Wamsley was represented by Attorney David Moye.

Beth Sergent

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.