3 robbery suspects arrested after 3-county chase

Armed robberies Sunday at an Augusta gas station and an Edgefield County store led to a chase that involved officers from Aiken, Edgefield and Richmond counties and ended with the arrests of two men and a juvenile.

Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Robbie Silas said the three, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, are believed to have robbed the Circle K gas station at Wheeler Road and Interstate 20 about 6:15 a.m.

They then fled to Edgefield, S.C., where they robbed the Dodge's Store on U.S. Highway 25, he said.

Edgefield authorities chased the black Pontiac Grand Am, which was traveling at 100 mph, back into Richmond County on I-20 about 7:30 a.m., and Richmond County deputies joined the pursuit.

"We took over the chase at the state line," Silas said.

Deputies pursued the car down Bobby Jones Expressway and were able to deflate one of its tires using stop sticks near the Mike Padgett Highway interchange.

The deflated tire slowed the chase to about 80 mph.

As the vehicle traveled down Laney-Walker Boulevard, Aiken County deputies were able to flatten a second tire, but the car continued down Sand Bar Ferry Road into Beech Island.

With deputies from all three counties in pursuit, the vehicle was disabled when it ran into a ditch on Urquhart Drive in Beech Island, Silas said.

There, Corderall Stallings, 20, of Jackson, and a 16-year-old juvenile from Columbia were apprehended after a short foot chase, Silas said.

John Fitzgerald Hall, of Augusta, was apprehended in the vehicle.

The three face armed robbery, traffic and possibly drug charges after deputies found cocaine left behind in one of the vehicles used to transport the suspects, Silas said.

Stallings, the alleged driver of the Grand Am, faces an additional charge of assault with intent to kill in North Augusta. Authorities said he tried to run over North Augusta Public Safety Officer Ryan Moulton at I-20 and U.S. 25 as he avoided stop sticks.

The trio had taken money and cigarettes from the two convenience stores, Silas said.

Authorities have recovered some of the money but believe the suspects discarded the gun and clothing used in the armed robberies during the chase, Silas said.

The two adults, who were being held in Edgefield County, face up to 20 years in prison for armed robbery and will face charges in South Carolina first.

Police chases are dangerous and costly, and many counties don't allow them, Silas said.

"We are very fortunate that nobody got hurt and no property was damaged," he said.