Suspect arrested in robbery, assault

By Staff
Melissa Dozier-Cason, FCT staff writer
A Russellville man is in police custody today for the assault of a 25-year-old woman and a robbery of a local business.
Ronnie Lee Gholston, 47, was arrested Thursday evening and charged with rape-first, kidnapping-first, theft of property-first, and breaking and entering an automobile by force, Chris Hargett, Russellville Police Chief, said.
The victim was attacked after closing the Cash Advance store where she was employed. She had parked on the west side of the building near shrubs. When the victim got into her car, the suspect allegedly jumped into the car with her and forced her from behind the wheel, Hargett said.
Gholston allegedly drove the victim to a secluded area, where the rape took place, and then drove her back to the Cash Advance store. Gholston forced the woman to go back into the store, and bring him money, Hargett said.
"She said he told her she had 30 seconds to go in and get the money or he would kill her," police said. "When she came back to the car, he grabbed it and left in the car, leaving the victim in the parking lot."
The victim called 911 just after 7 p.m. Wednesday, and was taken to Russellville Hospital for treatment, Hargett said.
The victim's purse was found in Colbert County on Thursday, and the car was found at a residence on Hughes Road in Muscle Shoals.
"We found Gholston and the victim's car at the same residence in Muscle Shoals," Hargett said.
Gholston was taken to Russellville City Jail Thursday night and was transferred to Franklin County Jail on Friday.
Bond has been set at $275,000, Hargett said.
The victim has been released from Russellville Hospital, and is in good physical condition, Hargett said.