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Restitution ordered in robbery

May 05, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Robin Eugene Lewis, convicted in April of second-degree assault in an April 2, 2003, robbery at Michaels Arts & Crafts in Hagerstown, was ordered by a Washington County Circuit judge Tuesday to make restitution of more than $2,000 to the store.

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III sentenced Lewis on April 20 to the maximum 10-year sentence on the second-degree assault charge but suspended all but 18 months, to be served at the Washington County Detention Center. Boone said Lewis would get credit for time he had served.

Lewis, 36, has spent nearly a year at the jail.

At the April 20 hearing, Boone said he would wait until Tuesday to order restitution to give store employees time to determine how much of the stolen money was covered by insurance.

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On Tuesday, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Robert Veil said that $2,466.84 should be paid to the store because that was the amount the store's insurance policy did not cover.

Boone ordered Lewis to serve three years on probation following the completion of his sentence, with the first two years of probation to be supervised to ensure that money is paid to the store.

A two-day trial in Lewis' case in January ended with the jury failing to reach a unanimous verdict. Boone said a poll of the jury showed 10 people were in favor of acquittal and two were in favor of conviction.

The state was set to take the case to trial again, but on April 20 it worked out a plea agreement with Lewis.

Lewis entered an Alford plea to the second-degree assault charge and the state agreed to drop charges of armed robbery, robbery, theft of more than $500, first-degree assault, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Roy Harsh testified during Lewis' preliminary hearing that on April 2 the Michaels department manager was heading into the store's locked money room with the day's receipts when he was robbed.

A handgun was displayed, but during a scuffle with the robber the manager realized it was a toy, Harsh testified.

Police said $5,974 in cash and checks were taken, according to Harsh and charging documents.

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