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Friday, June 14, 2024

Jury finds Marion man guilty of carjacking woman at gunpoint

A Marion County jury recently found a 62-year-old man guilty of carjacking at gunpoint in connection with an incident that occurred at a local truck stop in 2019.

Last week, Ronny Scott Cooper was convicted in a Marion County courtroom of committing an armed carjacking on March 17, 2019, at a Petro truck stop in Irvine.

Ronny Scott Cooper sitting in court
On Friday, May 17, 2024, Marion County jurors found Ronny Scott Cooper guilty of carjacking at gunpoint. (Photo: Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida)

According to court records, on the day of the incident, Cooper had previously asked multiple individuals at the truck stop if they were heading to Lake City. When no one responded, Cooper approached a woman who was pumping gas and posed the same question.

Shortly after the victim told Cooper that she was not traveling to Lake City, he brandished what appeared to be a black pistol and attempted to rob the victim. When she told Cooper that she did not have any cash, he entered her vehicle and accelerated away from the truck stop.

Two days later, an East Baton Rouge Louisiana Sheriff’s Office deputy spotted Cooper sitting near the victim’s vehicle, which was “wrecked and immobilized” on a golf course. Cooper told the deputy that he was a “singer traveling from Las Vegas to Jacksonville,” and he further claimed that the vehicle “belonged to his girlfriend.”

The deputy conducted a computer search of the vehicle’s tag number, which revealed that it had been reported stolen out of Marion County. Cooper was detained in handcuffs shortly thereafter.

After being read his Miranda rights, Cooper admitted to taking the vehicle from the victim at the truck stop. During a search of the victim’s vehicle, law enforcement found an Airsoft gun that “closely resembled a real firearm.”

Cooper was arrested in Louisiana, and he was eventually booked into Marion County Jail on May 1, 2019.

Ronny Scott Cooper (Marion County Jail booking photo)
Ronny Scott Cooper (Marion County Jail booking photo)

Cooper has a prior criminal history that includes convictions for grand theft of a motor vehicle and robbery with a gun or deadly weapon.

This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Janine Nixon.

A sentencing hearing for Cooper has not yet been scheduled.