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Guilty plea in robbery of store
Stafford man, 58, pleads guilty in Dollar General store robbery.

Date published: 11/10/2012

BY KEITH EPPS

A man who briefly got away with about $400 when he robbed a Stafford business last year pleaded guilty to robbery Friday.

Calvin Jerome Dancy, 58, of Locust Grove also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in Stafford County Circuit Court. In exchange for his guilty pleas, two conspiracy charges were dropped.

He will face the possibility of life in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 31. This was his third robbery conviction.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Ed Lustig, Dancy entered the Dollar General at 20 Plantation Drive off U.S. 17 shortly before 9 p.m. March 20, 2011.

He talked to employee Daniel Wilson about Virginia Tech shirts, and eventually agreed to purchase two of them.

As Wilson was ringing up the purchase, Dancy reached toward the back of his waistband as if he had a gun and said, "Open your drawer. Don't get yourself killed. Give me all the money in the drawer."

He got $400, then demanded a $2 bill that was still in the drawer, Lustig said.

He got into a Dodge minivan driven by a woman and left.

Another store employee got a partial license number and a description of the vehicle, and Deputy Mark Steininger spotted it a short time later.

The minivan crashed on Shackelford Well Road in the Hartwood area while trying to elude police. Both Dancy and the driver, Brenda Duff, were ejected and injured. The vehicle landed on Dancy.

All of the money, including the $2 bill, and the Virginia Tech shirts were recovered. Dancy's actions were also captured on store surveillance video.

Dancy was convicted of robberies in Arlington in 1989 and Alexandria in 1993. Had he gone to trial as scheduled next week, he would have faced a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

His plea gives a judge the leeway to sentence him anywhere from five years to life.

A trial for Duff, who is charged with robbery and other offenses, is set for Jan. 8.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404
Email: kepps@freelancestar.com