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Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

St. Marys man gets 15 years in prison for robbery

By Ed Gebert
WAPAKONETA - A 39-year-old St. Marys man on Monday was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he had pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, stemming from the November armed robbery of a St. Marys tobacco store.
Gary McBride pleaded guilty in a plea agreement on April 10 and the sentence was handed down Monday by Auglaize County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick D. Pepple.
McBride was given consecutive terms of 11 years for the aggravated robbery charge and four years on a specification that he had committed repeated violent offenses.
When Pepple asked why he had committed the robbery, McBride said he felt trapped.
"The situation I was in at the time had my mind fully blown," McBride said. "I tried to get away, and I couldn't get away because of the situation I was in - the relationship, the people I was running with. It was bad for me, and I couldn't get away. I had nowhere to go. I'm from Lima, and I moved to the St. Marys area, and I don't know nobody."
The robbery took place Nov. 19, when a man reportedly dressed entirely in black pulled a knife and demanded money from an employee of Lester's Tobacco, 1592 Celina Road. The man took cash and fled the scene. Shop owners stated that $1,065 was missing from the shop. St. Marys Police later recovered $971, which is being returned to the owners.
McBride must pay the remaining $94 in restitution as well as court costs.
McBride was on post-release control at the time of the robbery. Pepple recounted McBride's criminal history, including robbing a gas station in 2008 by holding a covered hairbrush as if it were a gun and demanding money. Four days after finishing his one-year prison sentence, McBride held up another gas station by falsely claiming to have a gun.
Pepple observed that in McBride's criminal history, his actions have never been physically violent.
"From what I can tell, I don't see a record where you've actually hurt anybody; you scare the bejeebers out of people," Pepple said, urging McBride to seek help the next time he feels hopeless.
Before the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, McBride said that serving the 15 years would be more difficult if the owner and manager of the shop did not forgive him.
"Don't tell me, tell them," Pepple responded, gesturing toward the two who were in the courtroom for the sentencing. The two women said they would forgive and urged McBride to seek help before doing something drastic.
McBride had originally been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery, one count of kidnapping and one count of theft. All charges but one aggravated robbery count were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea to the first-degree felony.
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