John Edward Pickett Jr., 56, was found guilty of Robbery by a Collier County jury following a two day trial. The jury deliberated for under an hour before returning their verdict.
The crime occurred in December 2016 in a restaurant parking lot off Main Street in Immokalee. The 60 year old male victim was in the parking lot heading to the restrooms which were located outside the restaurant. Pickett then walked up behind the male and as he turned around, Pickett punched him in the face with a closed fist. The blow knocked the victim unconscious and he fell to the ground. While falling to the ground, he hit his head causing a gash.
While the victim, still unconscious, lay on the ground Pickett dug through his pockets. He took money from the victim and placed it in his shoe. He also stole the victim’s cellphone. Pickett then got up and walked away from the scene, leaving the unconscious victim on the ground.
Around closing time, an employee of the restaurant found the man and called 911. The entire incident was captured on surveillance video from the restaurant. Approximately 45 minutes after the victim was found on the ground, the defendant was located less than a half mile away from the scene. He was wearing a nearly identical outfit to the one in the video. The video had also shown the defendant flick a lit cigarette to the ground. Collier County Sheriff’s Deputies recovered one cigarette from the parking lot and it was tested for DNA and later confirmed to be his, placing him at the scene of the crime.
As a result of his fall, the victim required 15 stitches but has since recovered and is left with a small scar.
Pickett faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced. His sentencing date has not yet been set. Assistant State Attorneys Deborah Cunningham and Kate Rumley prosecuted the case.
State Attorney’s Office