The suspect arrested for a recent violent robbery at a local convenience store was out on probation when the crime occurred, after serving just three years of a 20-year sentence for a prior murder conviction.
Reginald Blevins, 34, was arrested Monday for allegedly shooting a clerk working at the CEFCO Gas Station on Springhill Avenue in the early evening of Jan. 17. According to the Mobile Police Department (MPD), the employee was shot after confronting a man in the store who was trying to shoplift cases of beer.
He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and the suspect fled the scene in a vehicle. On Jan. 20, MPD identified Blevins as the prime suspect and arrested him on charges of first-degree robbery, domestic violence, probation violation, second-degree assault and attempting to elude police.
At the time of the shooting, Blevins was on probation for a murder conviction. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to the murder of 48-year-old Joseph William O’Brien, who was shot to death while riding his bicycle near the post office on Springhill Avenue in October 2013. O’Brien’s killing garnered significant attention in the local media due to its apparent random nature and because it went unsolved for three years.
Blevins was sentenced to 20 years in prison for O’Brien’s murder, but 17 years of it was suspended. After getting credit for the year he served in Mobile County Metro Jail ahead of his trial, Blevins only wound up spending two years in state prison before he was released to serve five years of probation.
Blevins’ 2017 sentence was handed down by Mobile County Circuit Judge Michael Youngpeter despite his lengthy criminal history. In the three years between O’Brien’s murder and Blevins’ arrest in 2016, he wracked up charges for drug possession, domestic violence, gun crimes, assault and robbery.
Blevins was released from prison last year, but in the days leading up to the recent shooting at CEFCO, court records indicate prosecutors were attempting to revoke Blevins’ probation as he began to have run-ins with the law again. On Dec. 19, he was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Then last week, Jan. 15, Blevins was arrested for harassing communications after his father reported Blevins was making death threats toward he and his wife “now that he’s out of jail.” Given the arrests and his failure to report for required meetings with state probations officers, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke his bond Jan. 16 — the day before he allegedly shot the employee at CEFCO.
While Blevins hasn’t been arraigned on his new charge, he will face a probation revocation hearing before Youngpeter on Jan. 29. It’s unclear how much time Blevins might serve if his probation is revoked. Calls to Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich did not immediately receive a response.
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