Despite pleading guilty in the case, a 25-year-old man from Rochester was still given a stiff sentence inside federal court recently. The man, who pled guilty to robbing three different McDonald’s restaurants, was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.
The man’s pled guilty to charges of interference with commerce by robbery (three separate counts) and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence (one charge).
Sometimes defendants will plead guilty in cases where there may seem to be an insurmountable amount of evidence. By allowing the case to bypass trial, defendants are sometimes awarded lighter sentences. Though it is not certain, this man was likely facing a lot more time behind bars if he had gone to and been found guilty at a trial.
The man’s string of restaurant robberies hit Byron, Rochester and Winona. The instances were spaced out between Sept. 19, 2010 and June 15 and June 26 of 2011. During the robberies, the man admitted to taking money from the restaurants. The most the man ever took was $2,740, a small amount for the 14-year prison sentence. He also admitted to stealing personal items off of restaurant employees, none of whom were injured in the robberies.
The man fired a gun during the robbery in Byron, prompting the additional charge.
Though this man chose to plead guilty, no defendant should ever feel pressured into entering a guilty plea. Only by working with a criminal defendant will someone truly understand what is at risk by admitting to a crime for which he or she is charged.
Source: KARE 11, “Rochester man gets 14 years for McDonald’s robberies,” Dec. 6, 2012
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