Archived News

Franklin man pleads guilty to robbery with AR-15

Franklin man pleads guilty to robbery with AR-15

A Franklin man will spend at least 118 months and up to 128 months in prison after admitting in court to helping rob and beat another man.

Jonathan Wesley Simmons, 39, pleaded guilty last week to robbery with a dangerous weapon as a habitual felon and possession of firearm by felon, District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said.

He threatened the victim with an AR-15-style, semi-automatic rifle.

Simmons had previous convictions for:

  • Possession of a firearm in December 2011.
  • Attempted first-degree burglary in December 2016.
  • Assault on a female in April 2018.

Habitual felon status enhances punishment decisions and can apply after a defendant is convicted of three felonies. Habitual felons face sentencing at a felony level four classes higher than the underlying felony convictions.

 Assistant District Attorney John Hindsman Jr. prosecuted the case.

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.