When most people in the Twin Cities hear about a 16-year prison sentence, they assume the person convicted did something extremely horrible or heinous so as to get such a large sentence. Unfortunately, some courts throw out these lengthy sentences for something as minor as a robbery or a felon in possession of a firearm charge. As a 42-year-old Minneapolis man pled guilty to the weapons charge and interference with commerce by robbery, he may never have imagined that he would spend the next 195 months behind bars.
While felonies carry long prison sentences and may turn people into social pariahs, some of the things that are considered felonies may not be as dangerous or serious as some people think. In this story, the 42-year-old was accused of entering a restaurant in February of last year and asked to see a manager. When the manager arrived, police say he pulled a pistol and asked for money. It does not appear that the man was seriously threatening the restaurant staff, even after they couldn’t give him any money, so he tried to leave with a wallet, a phone and some keys.
As the man attempted to exit the restaurant, police arrived and he supposedly dropped the wallet and gun, making the robbery incomplete.
At no time was anyone injured and the amount that was allegedly stolen was relatively minimal. It is unclear what led the man to eventually plead guilty, but he may not have thought he would face such a harsh punishment for his actions.
This story shows just how important it is to secure an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as police arrest or charge you with a crime. The time that you could spend in prison for one slip-up is too great a risk to try and fight criminal charges alone.
Source: WCCO 4 CBS, “Man Gets 16 Years In Robbery Of Mpls Restaurant,” Feb. 22, 2012