Grocery store robbery suspects expected to plead guilty

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   A man and woman charged with the January 2001 aggravated robbery of Buladean Grocery in Stoney Creek were expected to plead guilty to a lesser charge today in Carter County Criminal Court before Judge Robert Cupp.
   Sources say that according to the plea agreement, Christina Ann Valadez, 21, 304C Hwy. 78, Hildebrand, N.C., and Paul Ed Dalton Dollarhyde, 26, 112 W. 27th St., Newton, N.C., will plead guilty to robbery, rather than aggravated robbery. Valdez will receive a sentence of eight years and the court will decide whether she will serve that time, serve a portion of it, or be placed on probation. That determination probably will be made at a sentencing hearing held at a later date.
   Dollarhyde is expected to receive 12 years and will be spending that time, or a portion of it, in prison. A convicted felon, Dollarhyde first was apprehended and held for South Carolina authorities, who wanted him for violation of probation. He was apprehended in Carter County in 1997 on a fugitive from justice warrant out of Chesterfield, S.C., and has prior charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of Schedule VI, and robbery, according to records.
   In a previous interview, Carter County Sheriff John Henson said deputies were called to Buladean Grocery around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, after a white male and female, later identified as Dollarhyde and Valadez, entered the store and asked the clerk for a carton of Marlboro and a carton of Marlboro Light cigarettes.
   The clerk picked up a carton of Marlboro and laid them on the top of the counter, then turned to walk toward the back of the store to get the Marlboro Lights.
   "When she turned and started to walk back to the back of the store, the male struck her in the head with his fist and knocked her down onto the floor, then kicked her in the head and put his foot on top of her, holding her face down in the floor, and telling her: 'If you move, I'm going to kill you,' " Henson said. The robbers also sprayed the clerk with mace.
   While the male held the clerk down, the sheriff said, the woman got the cash register and the money bag and both subjects exited the store and left the scene.
   They later were apprehended at a roadblock in Mountain City by Johnson County Deputy Clifton Worley and turned over to Carter County Sheriff's Department deputies.