Cold case heats up 

The previously unsolved case of a 2005 slipshod robbery at a Missoula porn shop neared closure Tuesday before the Missoula County District Court postponed sentencing of perpetrator Justin Casey Stinger.

Stinger held up Fantasy for Adults Only with an unloaded .22-caliber pistol on Nov. 7, 2005. According to an affidavit, then-clerk Jacob Bigham first gave Stinger money from the till, then jumped him, wrestling both Stinger’s ski mask and pistol away. Bigham repeatedly clubbed Stinger with the .22, and Stinger fell through a glass counter and onto a large houseplant before fleeing the shop on foot. All he left behind was blood near pieces of the broken houseplant’s pot. 

No one linked Stinger to the robbery at the time and, without additional leads, investigators filed the case inactive. The state crime lab processed Stringer’s blood from the scene, but found no matches.

The case didn’t resurface until July 2008, when Stringer’s DNA entered the state database following his conviction on three counts of robbery and one of tampering with a witness. After denying his involvement with the Fantasy for Adults incident, Stinger provided additional blood samples that matched the evidence from the scene.

“This case is, for lack of a better word, housekeeping,” says prosecuting attorney Kirsten Pabst LaCroix. “It’s always good to wrap up these loose ends.”

Stinger is currently on probation for the three robberies, which occurred before the porn shop holdup. He faces an additional year of probation under the prosecution’s proposed sentence.

The prosecution offered Stinger a reduced sentence in a plea bargain earlier this year. Stinger subsequently pled guilty. District Judge Robert L. Deschamps III rescheduled Stinger’s sentencing for May 5 citing confusion over the case’s timeline.
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