Log in Subscribe

Store robber sentenced to 20 years

By TERENCE CORRIGAN - Special to the T-G
Posted 2/1/22

Armed with a knife, on Jan. 15, 2019, 54-year-old Leslie Lamont Coleman walked into the Circle K convenience store on Madison Street in Shelbyville, intending to steal cash and merchandise.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Store robber sentenced to 20 years


Armed with a knife, on Jan. 15, 2019, 54-year-old Leslie Lamont Coleman walked into the Circle K convenience store on Madison Street in Shelbyville, intending to steal cash and merchandise.  

His accomplice was 18-year-old Deontre Farris, the son of Coleman’s girlfriend.  

Coleman and Farris, however, took much more than $78 in cash, 18 cans of Bud Light beer, two cartons of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. They also robbed the female store clerk of her self-confidence and sense of wellbeing, court reports stated.  

As a result of the incident, it is on court record that she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) She went to counseling for over 2 years (Circle K’s insurance only paid for a month and a half of it.) She takes medication for anxiety.  

“Being a victim of an armed robbery has changed my life dramatically,” she wrote in a victim’s statement. “I do not have the confidence I did before the robbery. I was afraid to go to my own house following the robbery. I was at a point of not wanting to be in public in fear it would happen again. I lost all of my sense of security ….”  

Coleman, who is nicknamed “Fat Dog,” still maintains his innocence but a jury found him guilty on Nov. 10, 2021 and last week (Jan. 20) he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  

“Fat Dog” will not be eligible for early release.  

Accomplice Farris testified against Coleman. Five days after Coleman’s trial, Farris pled guilty and was sentenced to 6 years which he will serve on supervised probation. Farris was held in jail for over 2 1/2 years awaiting trial, believed to be one of the longest pretrial incarcerations in a Bedford County criminal case.  

Twenty-eight years, one month and seven days before he walked into the Shelbyville Circle K, Coleman, who was 24 years old at the time, and his 17-year-old stepbrother, robbed a Jim Dandy Market on Nolensville Road in Nashville.  

In that robbery, the 35-year-old store clerk was ordered to lie down in the back room of the store and she was shot three times in the back of the head.  

Coleman and his stepbrother blamed each other for the killing but Coleman was convicted of 1stdegree murder. His stepbrother was acquitted of a murder charge.  

Coleman was in prison for 25 years and seven months when he was released in September 2016.  

At his sentencing hearing on Jan. 20, Coleman asked Judge Forest Alexander Durard Jr. for leniency. He said he did not commit the crime.  

“I’ve spent my whole life trying to help people,” he said. “That’s all I do is help my whole family. I have no desire to rob.”  

Coleman claimed that he complied with all the conditions of his release in 2016. “I did everything they asked,” he said.  

In a written statement, Coleman claimed “People have … lied and changed their story, but I have always said I did not do these things.”  

He claimed that his accomplice, Farris, implicated him because “I would not take him to see his girlfriend.”  

Coleman’s sister, Donna Johnson, testified that she would provide him with housing and make sure he is employed. She also assured the judge that she would report him to law enforcement authorities if he breaks the law.  

The store clerk, in her victim statement, wrote that Coleman “should be required to serve life in prison due to previous crimes committed plus being on parole and ruining his chance for a different life. I do not believe he should ever get another chance for parole.”  

In support of the maximum sentence for Coleman, Assistant DA Mike Randles said the Circle K robbery could have gone horribly wrong.  

“It was only by the grace of God that she (the store clerk) was not harmed,” Randles stated.  

In imposing the maximum sentence, Judge Durard said, “He [Coleman] has a violent record. He should not be in society to re-offend.” 


1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • John Bumpus

    I appreciate Judge Durard's maximum possible sentence for Coleman in this case. I appreciate the sentencing restraints imposed upon Judge Durard in this case. I appreciate Judge Durard's comments in this case.

    The fact is, Coleman should never have been released from prison in 2016 for his first-degree murder conviction! In fact, why was this guy not executed twenty-something years ago? What does a guy have to do to warrant the death penalty in Tennessee if making a female convenience store clerk lie down in a store's back stock room and then shooting her in the head three times is not sufficient for an execution sentence--something as cold-blooded and premeditated and cruel (penalty enhancing) as can be imagined?!

    Tuesday, February 1, 2022 Report this