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Man wields samurai sword in Medford robbery

Two Medford men could face 7½ years in prison for allegedly using a samurai sword and an airsoft pistol to rob a man of his wallet and cellphone Sunday night in Medford.

Lawrence Anthony Jackson allegedly brandished the sword at the male victim while Justin Dee Chapman showed what appeared to be a pistol in his waistband during the 11:30 p.m. robbery in a parking lot off Biddle Road near Progress Drive, according to the Medford Police Department.

"The victim says he pointed (the sword) at him at a close range and threatened to use it," Medford police Lt. Kevin Walruff said. "It was a good-sized samurai sword, with what I'd say was a 3-foot blade."

A witness identified Jackson as the sword-bearer. A Medford police officer less than an hour later found Jackson and Chapman — who are well known to police — with an associate's van in the Safeway parking lot in Medford Center, Walruff said. 

Jackson, 49, and Chapman, 31, were taken into custody without incident on charges of first-degree robbery, menacing and second-degree theft.

Jackson was lodged Monday at the Jackson County Jail on $110,000 bail, while Chapman was lodged without bail on a probation violation.

A first-degree robbery conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 7½ years in prison under Oregon's mandatory-minimum sentencing laws.

Officers found the sword as well as an airsoft pistol in the van along with the victim's wallet and phone, Walruff said.

The victim told police he was lured to the unoccupied parking lot by the two suspects by the prospect of smoking marijuana, police said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

Justin Dee Chapman
Lawrence Anthony Jackson