Rodney Howell (Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office)

Felon gets life sentence for snatching purses in Cobb

An Oklahoma man who robbed women in Cobb County of their purses is going to prison for life, officials said Monday.

Rodney Kinchelle Howell, 40, first attacked an 86-year-old woman outside a Walmart on Cobb Parkway, not far from the Big Chicken, on April 5, 2016, Cobb County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Kim Isaza said.

Howell and his accomplice, 23-year-old Cheyenne Nicole Rogers, followed the woman and her 64-year-old daughter as they left the store, Isaza said. Howell grabbed the purse and Rogers got into a stolen Cadillac Escalade and they left the scene, Isaza said.

The following day, the duo robbed a 60-year-old woman outside a Walmart on Cobb Parkway near Terrell Mill Road. In similar fashion, Rogers drove a Cadillac and picked up Howell behind the store, Isaza said. This time, the woman’s purse had a handgun inside.

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When the duo robbed a woman at Harry’s Farmers Market in Marietta on April 13, 2016, Howell used a gun, Isaza said.

Howell appeared with a gun, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, dark hat and dark jeans, at the woman’s trunk, Isaza said. 

“He pointed a revolver at the woman and demanded her purse,” Isaza said. “The woman screamed and kicked her wallet at him.” 

Police later confirmed a man seen in QuikTrip surveillance video taking cash from an ATM was Howell and he used stolen bank cards to purchase cigarettes and alcohol, Isaza said.

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Howell and Rogers were found in a Cadillac Escalade parked at the Stratford Apartments on Delk Road shortly after the robbery at the farmers market. They were arrested.

Rogers pleaded guilty Aug. 10 to three counts of robbery and two counts of financial transaction card fraud. She was sentenced to 12 years, with seven spent in prison and the remainder on probation.

Howell, who had previously been convicted in Oklahoma of rape, armed robbery, robbery and grand larceny, was convicted by a jury of armed robbery, aggravated assault, two counts of robbery, two counts of financial transaction card fraud, theft by bringing stolen property into the state and three firearms possession charges.

A judge sentenced Howell as a recidivist to life in prison without parole plus 30 years.

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