Mason City man pleads not guilty to convenience store robbery

MASON CITY — A Mason City man has pleaded not guilty to a January convenience store robbery.

18-year-old Jesup Ward was charged with first-degree robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon, a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Police say he went into the Casey’s at 813 North Federal shortly after 9:30 on the night of January 3rd, pointing a handgun at employees, demanding money and that they break their cell phones.

Ward filed a written plea of not guilty today in Cerro Gordo County District Court. A trial date at last check had not been scheduled, but Ward has demanded a speedy trial. Ward is currently being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on $25,000 cash-only bond.

In a separate case in Worth County, Ward has been charged with second-degree burglary, trafficking in stolen weapons first offense, third-degree theft, and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He’s accused of a burglary in the 100 block of South Broadway in Manly on January 2nd, where the property owner reported missing two black handguns.

He has pleaded not guilty to those charges and is scheduled to be tried on April 12th.