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Harlan robbery suspect claims he is innocent

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Police have arrested a third person in connection with a Pizza Hut robbery in Harlan last year.

20-year old Matthew Johnson is charged with robbery.

However, Johnson claims he is innocent.

He talked to WYMT's Angela Sparkman from jail.

"I don't know why I'm here," Johnson said.

Police say on the night of December 4th, the Harlan Pizza Hut manager was walking to her car with the night deposit bag when two men wearing masks pointed a gun at her and took the money.

"I know nothing at all about that. I don't leave Evarts. That's where I stay. I don't have any transportation," Johnson said.

Last month, police arrested Johnson's cousin, Donnie Pace, on robbery charges. Pace's girlfriend Donna Brown was charged with driving the getaway car. Police say Johnson was the other man involved in the robbery, but he claims it was not him.

"I am innocent. It's a very big surprise. I'm not on drugs. I don't do drugs. I have no reason at all taking someone else's money," Johnson said.

Harlan City Police say they have evidence Johnson was involved.

"We had several people give his name and just throughout the investigation, all leads were explored and they all pointed towards him as being the second male suspect," said Mike Thomas, Harlan Police Chief.

"I don't know what to think. I guess I'll have to wait for the courts to do their job," said Johnson.

He has pleaded not guilty to the robbery charge.

Johnson's bond is $25,000.

His cousin, Donnie Pace, the other suspect, is also being held on a $25,000 bond. Jail records show Brown was released.


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