GOSHEN — A New Paris man was sentenced in Elkhart’s Circuit Court after he admitted to taking part in a robbery in the south side of Elkhart.
Justin Kearney, 25, received a sentence of six years in prison and four years on probation. He will have to do 50 hours of community restitution.
Kearney pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery, a Class B felony, in October. He was arrested June 24.
Kearney admitted to acting as the driver in a robbery that happened June 15 at The Neighborhood Convenience Store, 1712 Oakland Ave.
Police were called at about 8 p.m. to the store on reports of a robbery. The owner of the store said he was alone when two men entered and took an undisclosed amount of money and other items.
He told police one of the men pushed him to the ground while the other searched for items to take. He had injuries to his neck, legs and chest.
A week after the robbery Joshua Bagwell, 19, of Nappanee, turned himself in at the Nappanee police station and helped officers locate the other suspects from the robbery. After talking with police, Kearney admitted he use his car as an escape vehicle in the robbery.
During his sentencing hearing, Kearney’s attorney, Phillip Miller, told the court his client was willing to accept responsibility.
“He is scared and worried about his future, but he accepts that he has something to learn from this.”
Miller said Kearney had no criminal history, although his family was often concerned about how easily he was influenced.
Before receiving his sentence, Kearney apologized to the court and the victim.
“I’d like to let the victim know I’m truly sorry,” he said. “I know now that one decision can end in a horrible situation.”
Three others were also involved in the robbery in June. Bagwell pleaded guilty to robbery resulting in bodily injury and battery resulting in serious bodily injury Sept. 26. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and six years on probation.
Andrew Ormanovich pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery resulting in bodily injury. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled Nov. 21 in Circuit Court.
Kayla Losee, 19, was also arrested and was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. She has a trial scheduled Nov. 18, but it may be rescheduled because two other cases have their trial scheduled that day.
Another man accused of being involved in a robbery in the same business on a different date also pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery.
Deshawn Wells, 26, of Elkhart, agreed to a stipulated sentence of 20 years executed in prison.
Wells was arrested June 26, shortly after Neighborhood Convenience Store was robbed at gunpoint. His sentencing hearing is scheduled Dec. 12 at 8:30 a.m.