A man who fired off a round during a robbery in the parking lot of the Ozark Walmart store is now in prison.
Joseph L. Steinert, 36, of Springfield was sentenced to 17 years of prison time, 10 of which he is scheduled to serve, on three felony convictions related to the incident that occurred Aug. 8, 2019.
Steinert allegedly robbed a person at gunpoint during an argument in a parked car, then fled from the scene after firing a shot.
No one was injured on the day Ozark police officers responded to the Walmart store off of South Street to the report of “an armed robbery with shots fired.” At around 10:31 a.m., a man allegedly fled the parking lot in a white Chevrolet Traverse that had been reported stolen.
Steinert arrested by Springfield police at 12:28 p.m.
Steinert pleaded guilty to first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm and armed criminal action. Circuit Judge Jennifer Growcock sentenced Steinert to seven years for vehicle tampering, seven years for unlawful possession of a firearm and three years for armed criminal action, per the terms of a plea agreement Steiner struck with Christian County prosecutors. Steinert was sentenced Jan. 22.
Missouri Department of Corrections records show that Steinert is now an inmate at a prison in Fulton, where he is serving his seven-year prison sentences concurrently, followed by the three years for armed criminal action consecutively, for a total of 10 years.
The incident at the Ozark Walmart that led to Steinert’s arrest occurred on the same day that a man sparked panic at a south Springfield Walmart store by walking in carrying a loaded rifle. Both southwest Missouri incidents occurred about a week after a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20 at the time, was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat. Andreychenko has since pleaded down to lesser charges.
Steinert has a criminal history that includes felony theft and stealing convictions in Greene County in 2015, in which the court deemed him to be a persistent offender. Steinert was also found guilty of three class C felony theft charges in Christian County in 2014.