Crime & Courts

Lexington man dropped his step-son off for armed robbery of elderly woman, police say

A Lexington man on the run has been arrested months after he drove his teenage step-son to an armed robbery, according to a statement from local police.

Jesse Wayne Richards, 31, was found and arrested in Tennessee on attempted armed robbery and conspiracy charges after his step-son tried to rob and elderly woman at a Lexington shopping complex, according to the statement.

On the afternoon of July 10, Richards drove his step-son, Cooper Cole, 17, to the Towne Centre II shopping center on the 900 block of North Lake Drive, according to the statement. Cole tried to rob an elderly woman while holding a knife.

The woman didn’t have any money, and Cole ran from the scene, according to the statement. Richards later picked him back up in a car.

Cole was arrested on July 30 and charged with attempted armed robbery and conspiracy. Soon after the arrest, Richards fled from South Carolina.

Richards was extradited back to the state Nov. 14, according to the statement. He was taken to the Lexington County Detention Center.

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Jesse Richards and Cooper Cole

Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.