Co-Conspirator In Craigslist Robbery Case Pleads Guilty

By
Susan Tebben - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Tue, May 20, 2014 10:49 am

The co-defendant from a robbery in which the victim was lured by an ad on Craigslist pleaded guilty last week.

Jace Johnson, 19, was accused along with Michael Nowell and charged with aggravated robbery, conspiracy and telecommunications fraud, all of which are felonies, according to court documents. A superseding indictment filed in March changed the charges in Johnson’s case to two counts of robbery along with the conspiracy and telecommunications fraud charges.

Nowell already entered a guilty plea in an agreement with the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. A recommended sentence of five years of community control with an underlying sentence of seven years was entered and sentencing was scheduled for June 2.

The charges stem from an August incident in which the men robbed a Nelsonville man with a deadly weapon at an apartment on Route 691.

A bill of particulars in the case explained that the two men planned the commission of the robbery after they “sought to entice men responding to a fictitious Craigslist personal advertisement to come to their apartment so that they could steal from them by threat of force...”

Officers were dispatched to the apartment and the victim told police the two men had given him a verbal command to get on the ground and that one man was brandishing a weapon. The victim fled to a nearby house and called 911, according to previous Messenger reporting.

Johnson pleaded guilty to all the charges in Athens County Common Pleas Court in a plea agreement with the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. The two counts of robbery and the conspiracy charge will merge because they are allied offenses, according to court documents, meaning they happened with the same intended result.

A sentence of six years was recommended as part of the agreement on the merged charges, along with a one-year sentence on the telecommunications charge.

Community control would also be recommended as part of the sentence, along with a requirement that Johnson apply to be in the Southeastern Probation Treatment Alternative Community Based Correctional Facility after his release from prison, according to court documents.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 17.

 

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