Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief
6:04 PM EST, February 26, 2013
If you ask Bob Terry, the attack that nearly killed him is merely an afterthought.
"I haven't even thought about it," Terry said Tuesday. "I'm not as strong as I was and I'm a little weak here and there."
Terry is back at work and feeling good, but he walked a long road to get here. He spent five weeks in the hospital after a beating and robbery on October 1, 2011.
"I'm probably 90 percent back to normal," said Terry. "I have a few tender bones. Other than that I think things are doing pretty good."
Prosecutors say Terry was attacked by Jason Shell. The crime happened late at night, as Terry was closing his country store.
Investigators say Shell, who's 39, jumped his 80-year-old victim from behind and hit him repeatedly. He grabbed a gun Terry was wearing, along with his wallet.
"This is the type of robbery you usually see, in an effort to obtain drugs," said Bedford County Commonwealth's Attorney, Randy Krantz.
Shell pleaded no contest to three charges Tuesday. In exchange he avoided two possible life sentences and was given a punishment of 18 years in prison.
"We wish we didn't have to reach agreements in this type of case, but the risk of acquittal was simply too great," said Krantz, who faced several problems that kept him from putting Shell on trial.
There was no forensic evidence tying Shell to the crime and two of the witnesses who would have testifed against him were recently arrested for drug possession.
The plea deal may not be what prosecutors wanted, but it has Terry's approval.
"With what they had to work with, I think they did good," said Terry. "I am well satfisfied with it. Get the old boy off the street and keep him locked up somewhere."
He's happy to have the trial behind him, and looking forward to many more years at his country store.
"I'm going to hang in here until I can't run it," said Terry. "There is not much money in it and there are long hours, but I enjoy what I'm doing."
Shell continues to claim he's innocent.
Whoever hit Terry was wearing a ski mask on the night of the robbery, so Terry never got a good look at the person who attacked him. The gun that was stolen has never been recovered.
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