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'I would never in my life do something like this': Police say A&B Quickstop robbery was an inside job

(WYMT)
Published: Jan. 7, 2020 at 1:11 PM EST
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A few weeks after a father and son were charged in a robbery case in Knox County, deputies arrested two more people in connection to the case. After further investigation, they believe it to be an inside job.

In December 2019,

with a gun and demanded cash. A couple of days later police arrested Alex and his father, Russell Toothman on multiple charges.

On January 6, 2020, deputies arrested Jennifer Gray and Courtney Simpson. Both were charged with complicity to first-degree robbery.

"I'm absolutely terrified. I don't know what to do at this point. Nobody wants to listen to me because they don't care," said Simpson.

Simpson worked at the A&B Quickstop in Artemus since early last year, until she was fired on Tuesday when she went to get her paycheck. She also says she has no idea why she and her partner were in jail.

"Who goes to work the next day if they planned a robbery?" said Simpson.

Deputy Elijah Broughton is running point in the investigation.

"He's talked to a lot of people and a lot of the interviews and stuff and statements peoples got, led him to the inside," said Sergeant Carl Frith.

The inside meaning Simpson and her partner Jennifer Gray.

"And they said that the boys made statements. That, that family made statements that me and Courtney supposedly planned it," said Gray.

Gray used to work for the Wild Cat, the main branch from A&B Quickstop but quit. "I quit there over two years ago because of the meth heads and all of the people you know that store attracts. I couldn't handle it," said Gray.

The girls say the gas station hosts underground gambling and police say the girls worked with the robbers to take that dirty money.

"They keep em open all night. So you know everybody's coming in and out and everybody's coming to play the machines. They know people is giving money out in there all night long," said Frith.

The areas where the robberies occurred are more isolated. Taking police a while to get there. And no other stores are open at that time of night.

Deputies say they have evidence that Simpson gave the robbers specific instructions. Something she denies.

"I wouldn't know how much money is there. The only person who would know how much money was there at the time of the robbery would of been the person working at the time."

The two girls face charges of complicity to first-degree robbery.

WYMT reached out to A&B Quickstop multiple times to ask about the robbery and the accusations of illegal gambling and was repeatedly hung up on.

Both Jennifer Gray and Courtney Simpson appeared in court on Thursday. They pleaded not guilty and will face a grand jury next Tuesday.

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