Richmond business owner admits to using fake identity before arrest

RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - A Richmond sandwich shop owner is talking to WKYT from jail after his arrest on kidnapping and armed robbery charges out of Chicago.

Police saw Marshawn Thomas was living in Richmond using the alias DeJuan Mack. He even opened his restaurant, Tela's Kentucky Sandwich Shack, next to the Madison County Courthouse. Thomas celebrated the grand opening in January, but now he is in jail as a fugitive from justice. He is also facing an identity theft charge out of Kentucky.

"All the responsibility falls on me," Thomas said from jail. "I'm not pushing it off nobody, but I just want everybody to understand that I'm not a bad person."

Kentucky State Police said Thursday Thomas was wanted on a probation violation, and he was previously arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery. Thomas said he had served his time for those charges years ago. He also admitted from jail he was living in Richmond under someone else's name and was wanted on a probation violation for a marijuana charge in Chicago.

Thomas said he came to Kentucky for a woman and started a food truck before opening a brick and mortar restaurant. The only other person who knew his true identity was his ex-girlfriend. Thomas wants the public to know he has been a productive citizen in Richmond since he moved to Kentucky.

"I've employed people...helping them feed their family," Thomas said. "Anybody that ever came to the restaurant can attest to the fact that I'm just a loving person. I love people."

He said he plans to come back to Richmond to continue running his business after taking care of his legal troubles.

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