By Frank Lewis
A Portsmouth man will spend the next 13 years behind bars following his conviction on robbery charges. Christopher Erks, 33, was convicted on Tuesday by a Scioto County petit jury of aggravated robbery, robbery and felonious assault.
Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said the conviction stemmed from a July 6, 2013, incident in the 900 block of 14th Street. Kuhn said Portsmouth police officers responded to a call from a man who had been beaten and robbed of his wallet. According to the state’s case, officers Troy Eddleman and Aaron Cooper investigated the matter and identified and arrested Erks in the vicinity within an hour of receiving the call.
Kuhn said the state’s case was presented by Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor’s Shane Tieman and Joseph Hale. The jury deliberated under an hour before returning a guilty verdict on all counts. Scioto County Common Pleas Judge Howard H. Harcha, III, who presided over the case, further found Erks to be a repeat violent offender, with multiple prior robbery convictions, and sentenced Erks to 13 years, 3 months in prison.
Kuhn said Harcha cited Erks’ extensive criminal record for the sentence. Erks remains lodged in the Scioto County Jail awaiting transport to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Tieman took the opportunity to thank the victim for his cooperation and commended the Portsmouth police officers for their hard work in the case.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.