Local Man Indicted In “Darth Vader” Robbery Pleads Guilty

Leon Childress (Jail photo)
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WACO (December 18, 2012)--A Waco man was held Tuesday in the McLennan County Jail awaiting transfer to a state prison unit after he pleaded guilty to charges in the aggravated robbery of a Waco convenience store.

Leon Jerome Childress, 44, also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Childress was named in an indictment charging robbery in connection with a holdup in February at the Skinny's store at North 18th Street and Lyle Avenue, during which the gunman wore a Darth Vader mask, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

The Skinny's clerk was able to identify the face behind the mask of the "Star Wars" villain, police said, because he was able to pull the mask off the robber's face.

The clerk told officers a masked man walked into the store, acted as if he had a weapon and demanded cash.

As the man reached across the counter toward the cash register, however, the clerk was able to strip away the mask, police said.

The would-be robber ran, but did grab several items on his way out of the store, police said.

The information the clerk provided led officers to a residence in the 1500 block of Herring Avenue where Childress was arrested without incident, police said.

The arrest for possession of cocaine stems from a January incident during a traffic stop, Swanton said.