A St. John’s man suspected of committing a spree of armed robberies in the St. John’s area last fall has chosen to be tried by a Newfoundland Supreme Court judge.
Mitchell Rodney Smith was in provincial court Wednesday, where defence lawyer Ken Hollett made the decision on his client’s behalf.
Smith — who has yet to enter a plea — will be arraigned at Supreme Court in the next few months.
Hollett and Crown prosecutor Glynne Faulkner will meet June 11 to iron out any issues arising in the case.
Smith, 25, faces nine charges — three counts each of armed robbery, having his face masked and possessing a weapon dangerous to the public (a knife).
The first robbery happened around 1 a.m. on Oct. 30 at the Circle K Irving on the Trans-Canada Highway, just west of Pitts Memorial Drive.
Five days later, at 9:10 p.m., officers responded to an armed robbery at Marie’s Mini Mart on Topsail Road.
Another robbery occurred on Nov. 14, at 10:20 p.m. at Marie’s Mini Mart on Fowler’s Road in Conception Bay South.
In each of the incidents, the suspect had a knife and demanded money and/or cigarettes before taking off.
There were no injuries in either robbery.
Smith also faces a charge from Clarenville, where, between Oct. 11, 2011, and Oct 31, 2011, he reportedly breached conditions of his probation.