Helping his neighbor rob a Belpre Subway restaurant last fall resulted in a 24-month prison sentence for a 29-year-old Belpre man Wednesday.
Austin Stacy, of 810 Morgan Ave., was sentenced to two years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correctional Center in Orient by Washington County Common Pleas Judge Randall Burnworth for assisting Jason Stewart, 21, of 809 Morgan Ave. in the Nov. 11, 2013 robbery.
"The court sentences you to 24 months for complicity to commit robbery, less two days already served in the county jail," Burnworth said. "If you keep a clean institutional record you could receive judicial release after nine months and placed on community control."
Stacy made no statement in his defense prior to the sentencing.
He pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony charge during a hearing on Feb. 18. A first-degree felony charge of complicity to commit aggravated robbery was dropped by the prosecution at that time.
According to Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings, Stacy had obtained a pellet gun and gave it to Stewart who entered the Subway Nov. 11 wearing a ski mask and pointed the gun at people inside the restaurant while demanding money.
Stewart took off with more than $500 in cash, but the money was recovered within hours of the heist after being tracked down by a bloodhound that found an empty cash box and backpack full of clothing near the railroad on Rockland Avenue in Belpre.
"Stacy had obtained the gun and hid the clothes for Stewart," Rings said Wednesday.
The gun was later determined to have been inoperable and would not have been considered a deadly weapon, which figured in the prosecution's decision to drop the original first-degree felony charge of complicity to commit aggravated robbery against Stacy.
Stewart was sentenced March 28 to three years in prison on a third-degree felony count of robbery. In addition he was re-sentenced on a third-degree felony count of burglary for which he had served more than a year and a half before an early discharge by judicial release.
Rings noted by law anyone incarcerated can petition for judicial release in 30 to 60 days after entering prison.
"But we would be opposed to that in (Stacy's) case, although we would not oppose the judicial release after nine months if he behaves himself while in prison," he said.