A Douglas County judge on Monday denied a 20-year-old Lawrence man’s request for probation and ordered him to serve 34 months in prison for a February attempted robbery in the Oread neighborhood.
“The next thing (the victim) knows, he’s lying on his back in the snow with a gun to his face. He did nothing to deserve that,” District Judge Sally Pokorny told Franklin Spottedtail, 20. “What you have taken from him is forever — his sense of peace and well-being. He’s going to feel like ‘this could happen to me again. I could be in danger.’ And that’s a terrible thing to take away from people.”
Spottedtail in April pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated robbery and obstruction. He was arrested early on Feb. 26, and prosecutors accused him of running up behind a 43-year-old man in the 1100 block of Tennessee Street and grabbing the man’s arms as a co-defendant, 18-year-old Clinton Vince Dubray, tried to hold up the man with a gun.
A Lawrence police officer interrupted the robbery as he drove into the area, and both men ran away before they were later arrested.
Dubray has pleaded no contest to the same charges and is scheduled to be sentenced later.
Spottedtail, his defense attorney, Hatem Chahine, and his parents on Monday had asked Pokorny to give him three years on probation as they mostly blamed his behavior on substance abuse. Chahine had asked for an aggressive substance abuse and mental health treatment programs to be part of his probation conditions.
“There’s not one day that has passed that I did not think about what I did,” Spottedtail said. “I’m not proud of myself.”
But prosecutors said alcohol did not seem to be a factor in the planning and failed execution of the robbery.
“I don’t know what treatment somebody can have to prevent them from committing this type of crime,” Assistant Douglas County District Attorney Michael Allen said.
Pokorny said she didn’t see evidence Spottedtail was intoxicated during the crime and said he had failed while serving on probation in past cases. She ordered him to serve 34 months in prison for the attempted aggravated robbery count and concurrently serve five months for the obstruction conviction.
He will be given credit for serving nearly two months in jail already.