KANSAS CITY, Mo. -A Kansas City man is convicted of his role in nine armed robberies, including one that ended in the death of a shop assistant.
Joe Lee Nichols, 30, will spend 45 years in federal prison with no possibility of parole.
In March 2020, Nichols pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, three counts of robbery, and three counts of using a firearm to further a felony.
Nichols admitted to being involved in the robbery of nine businesses at gunpoint in less than three weeks in July 2018.
The robberies included:
- Arrowhead Inn, 6006 E. 31st Street, July 2, 2018
- Boost Mobile, 5218 E. Truman Road, June 12, 2018
- Wood Springs Suites, 11301 Colorado Avenue, July 14, 2018.
During sentencing, federal prosecutors presented video evidence that he was also involved in a tenth armed robbery.
The crime occurred at the Inner-City Oil convenience store near 59th and Swope Parkway on July 16, 2018.
Sentencing documents say surveillance video shows Nichols pointing a gun at an employee inside the convenience store. The clerk resisted and the two ended up fighting over Nichols’ gun.
The video shows Nichols firing his gun multiple times before the employee fell to the floor, according to court documents. The clerk then retrieved a handgun and shot Nichols. At that point, Nichols stomped and kicked the employee’s head and body.
The clerk lost his firearm, which was recovered by Nichols’ accomplice, who then used it to shoot the clerk, according to court records.
Court documents show investigators matched a palm print on a freezer inside the store to Nichols’ hand.
Nichols is the third defendant to be convicted in this case. Another co-defendant pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing, and two other defendants remain on trial in May 2023.