May 17—A defendant accused of assaulting another man and stealing his cellphone three months ago in Joplin was granted a dismissal of his robbery charge Thursday when the victim did not show up to testify against him at a preliminary hearing.
Mark T. Reando, 40, of Galena, Missouri, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court on charges of second-degree robbery, vehicle tampering and possession of a controlled substance from three separate arrests dating back to February 2020.
The Jasper County prosecutor's office dismissed the robbery charge due to the absence of the victim, and Reando waived a hearing on the other two counts and was ordered to stand trial. Judge Joe Hensley set his initial appearance in a trial division for June 7.
A probable-cause affidavit filed with the robbery count alleged that Reando and an uncharged accomplice stopped a third man Feb. 25 on a sidewalk near 18th Street and Virginia Avenue, and started punching him in the face when he told them he did not have the money that he purportedly owed Reando's companion.
They then took his cellphone but were stopped and arrested by police a short time later.
The vehicle tampering count pertains to the defendant's possession of a stolen motorcycle in a police pursuit Feb. 25, 2020, in Joplin. Reando was taken into custody at the conclusion of the pursuit and the motorcycle was determined to have been stolen from a woman on East Markwardt Street.
The defendant was arrested on the drug charge Sept. 22 in Webb City when he showed up for a meeting with his probation officer allegedly carrying 18 grams of methamphetamine. That offense was discovered when he was contacted by officers serving a warrant on him for a misdemeanor offense in Stone County, according to a probable-cause affidavit.