Man accused of Joplin salon robbery bound over for trial

May 3—A judge decided Thursday that a 52-year-old defendant accused of holding up the Nails salon on East 20th Street, wearing a clown mask and armed with a handgun, should stand trial on robbery charges.

Judge Joseph Hensley found probable cause at a preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court for Jeffrey T. Dampier to stand trial on charges of first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. The court set Dampier's initial appearance in a trial division for May 15.

A probable-cause affidavit states that the owner of the business looked out the back door in the wake of the March 22 robbery and watched the suspect as he was walking away down an alley with about $200 of the salon's money. The owner thought they recognized him as someone who had been in the salon earlier in the week.

A detective working the case obtained video surveillance footage of the suspect in the alley no longer wearing the mask and purportedly was able to identify him as Dampier. He was arrested the following day with police seizing clothing matching that of the suspect in a search of his residence.

The judge denied the defendant a reduction of his bond following the hearing, leaving it set at $250,000 cash or surety.