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MURPHYSBORO — A Calumet City man was sentenced to 31 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on Friday for an armed robbery offense this past October, according to a news release from Jackson County State’s Attorney Michael Carr.



Arthur Eckles, 44, was convicted of armed robbery by a Jackson County jury on April 27, following a three-day trial.

During that trial, the jury heard testimony that on Oct. 13, officers with the Carbondale Police Department responded to the Circle K gas station on South Illinois Avenue in response to a report of an armed robbery. Carr said evidence was established that two men entered the business wearing Halloween-style masks. Eckles was wearing a clown-style mask.

Suspect indicted on felony robbery charge after latest armed robbery by men in Halloween masks

Throughout the course of the robbery, the clerk was robbed at gunpoint and forced to crawl behind the counter and open the cash register, according to the release. Carr said several packs of cigarettes and money were taken from the business during the robbery.

Also on Oct. 13, officers identified Eckles selling cigarettes in Carbondale, Carr said. During the investigation, officers could determine the cigarettes being sold were likely from a carton sold at the gas station that had been robbed because of the tax stamp on each package.

After Eckles was taken into police custody, officers located and seized other evidence of his involvement in the robbery, including clothing he wore as seen in a surveillance video.

Suspect arrested after latest armed robbery by men in Halloween masks

Armed robbery is a Class X felony, which has a sentencing range of six to 30 years. Because a firearm was used during the crime, the sentencing range was enhanced.

Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Bloodworth prosecuted the case for the state and Carbondale attorney Christian Baril defended Eckles.

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on twitter: @zd2000



Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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