Michael Young, 19, of Morrisdale, who participated in the robbery and assault of a Walmart employee, was sentenced to state prison yesterday at Colloquy Court by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman.
According to a previous article in The Progress, Young, Ronald Pinto, 18, of Wallaceton, and Jonathan Pennington Jr., 20, of Madera, robbed and terrorized a Walmart employee in October.
Young pleaded guilty to robbery, a felony of the first degree; terroristic threats, a midemeanor of the first degree; unlawful restraint and simple assault, misdemeanors of the second degree; and harassment, a summary offense.
“It was a stupid crime,” Young’s attorney, Wayne E. Bradburn of State College, said.
He then asked Ammerman to accept the plea agreement.
Ammerman accepted the plea and sentenced Young to serve a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years in state prison.
Young was also fined $1 plus cost for each charge, and was ordered to have no contact with the victim and pay $529.33 restitution to the victim.
Clearfield County District Attorney Ryan Sayers represented the commonwealth at the hearing.
According to a previous article in The Progress, police were called to Walmart Supercenter in Clearfield on Oct. 23 at 3:14 p.m. for a report of an individual who had threatened an employee with a knife and had taken the victim’s wallet and phone.
The victim stated earlier in the day he was sent a text message from Pinto telling him to meet him at Riverview Bank in Curwensville. Pinto arrived in a truck and the victim got inside and Pinto drove to Irwin Park where two individuals appeared from the wood line near the parking lot. The victim said he attempted to escape from the truck — but Pinto prevented the victim from leaving.
Pennington entered the truck, placing the victim in the middle of the front seat, and Young was in the rear seat.
Pinto then drove the truck from Irwin Park to Riverview Bank at Bridge Street in Clearfield. While on the way, Young took a piece of rope and placed it around the victim’s neck and it was so tight he couldn’t breathe, and had his feet on the dash of the truck, attempting to get free of the rope. Young eventually let go of the rope as the group headed for the bank.
The victim said then Pennington punched him in the face Pennington took the victim’s wallet and attempted to use the bank card to remove money from the victim’s bank account — but there was no money available because the victim had not yet been paid.
Pinto took the victim’s phone while at the bank and changed the password so that the victim could not access the phone.
The victim was hit in the leg by Pennington with the end of the rope he had around his neck as well as with a hatchet. Pinto had also burned the victim with a cigarette. After leaving the bank, the victim stated that he was taken to Walmart. Pinto had downloaded an app on the victim’s phone which would allow the victim to remove money from his paycheck early.
While at Walmart, the three assailants allegedly stating they would “chop (him) up and place his body parts on his parents’ porch.”
The victim said if he told anyone what was going on, the three assailants said they would blindfold him, tie him up and take him out into the back woods to cut him up and throw him in the river.
The victim said Pennington and Pinto used his bank card to purchase approximately $120 of merchandise from Walmart while Young went with the victim to the service desk to have him pull out his paycheck early.
Because the victim was an employee and was known by the staff, the employees there realized that something was wrong even though the victim did not want to tell them about the threats that he received. However, he did attempt to tell staff that he could not talk about it because his assailants were behind him.
Walmart staff pulled the victim aside and behind the service desk counter and call police.
The three exited the store and left in the truck but were later arrested.