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Archive for Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Topeka man sentenced to 17 years in prison for robbing Lawrence convenience store

June 21, 2011, 11:45 a.m. Updated June 21, 2011, 12:22 p.m.

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Sedryck Eugene Welch

Sedryck Eugene Welch

A Douglas County judge on Tuesday morning sentenced a 22-year-old Topeka man to 17 years in prison for a 2009 robbery of a Lawrence convenience store.

“The departure evidence shows a man who is immature, but it also shows that he committed three identical crimes to three separate persons for the purpose of obtaining money,” District Judge Michael Malone said.

Malone denied Sedryck Welch’s request for a seven-year sentence, but he allowed him to serve the 17 years at the same time that he’s serving nearly five years for robbery convictions in Shawnee County.

A jury in January convicted Welch of aggravated robbery after prosecutors accused him of using a shotgun to rob a clerk on Aug. 3, 2009, at Conoco, 2447 W. Sixth St. Lawrence police had released surveillance photos in the case and later received an anonymous tip to the Crime Stoppers hot line that helped lead to Welch's arrest.

Welch has already been sentenced to serve 59 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery in Shawnee County related to a 2009 robbery of two people at a Topeka convenience store.

For the Douglas County conviction, under state sentencing guidelines Welch faced 17 to 19 years in prison. His attorney, Sarah Swain, and family members asked Malone to give him a lesser prison sentence, mainly based on his age and testimony from a psychologist who said Welch had a low IQ and did not meet the profile of a career criminal.

Welch said he would accept Malone’s punishment. He will get credit for already serving more than one year in the Douglas County Jail.

“I’m willing to make good choices,” he said “And I’m willing to surround myself with positive people.”

Swain asked for an 84-month prison sentence to run concurrently with his Shawnee County sentence and said the Topeka and Lawrence crimes were committed over a short period of time.

Swain said no one was hurt in the robberies but that he still deserved to be punished because a firearm was used.

“This is not a kid who exhibits pro-criminal behavior,” Swain said. “This is a young, immature guy who is low-functioning, who can barely read or write, whose means of getting attention was at times these types of things.”

During the January trial Douglas County prosecutors presented surveillance photos of a man with a gun that night, and the clerk and two other witnesses who knew Welch in 2009 testified and said they believed he was the man in the video.

Prosecutors asked Malone to sentence him to 18 years in prison after serving five years for his Shawnee County conviction.

They questioned how Welch presented himself to the psychologist and submitted testimony earlier this month of a jailer who said Welch talked to him about a possible escape from the Douglas County Jail earlier this year. Welch denied that he mentioned that to the jailer when he testified at a prior hearing and accused another inmate of trying to use him.

“In some ways the departure gives him an incentive to reaffirm for himself that he’s not really as responsible as the law says he is for what he did,” Assistant District Attorney James McCabria said while asking Malone to deny Swain’s request.

Comments

cheeseburger 2 years, 10 months ago

Thank you, Judge Malone, for finally issuing a sentence in this county that is commensurate with the crime committed. A rarity in this county indeed!

It's a wonder Branson's office didn't recommend probation!

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Joe Hyde 2 years, 10 months ago

If during the holdup something had gone wrong that provoked young Sedryck to pull the trigger, a convenience store employee would have been hit at point blank range by a blast of shotgun pellets. Regardless of the shotgun's guate, that employee would have been instantly killed or severly messed up for life.

To be sure, a fair and compassionate argument was made my defense attormey Ms. Swain. But the defendant's use of a shotgun while commiting this holdup ballistically increased his IQ enough to warrant the sentence that was handed down.

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kusadgirl 2 years, 10 months ago

He should of used a water gun or a banana to rob the stores with. Probably still would of worked.

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LTownJayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Let's not forget, he did hire Sarah Swain. Everytime I've seen a case in which she's defending someone, they end up getting a fat prison sentence rather than the lighter sentences (if any) that we usually see in Lawrence.

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UNIKU 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure he was framed....they alllllwaaaaaays are.....

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rockchalker52 2 years, 10 months ago

Say, Sychophant, help a noob out here. What's your best guess, assuming the guy keeps his nose clean, on how many actual years he will serve?

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SynjynSmythe 2 years, 10 months ago

Simply no excuse for this sentence not being ordered served consecutively to the Shawnee County robberies!

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 10 months ago

did not meet the profile of a career criminal.

No, because he will be prison.

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57chevy 2 years, 10 months ago

He should have switched to breaking and entering. Its not investigated in Lawrence (no Burglary division in the Police dept , not even one cop assigned and no plans to add one according to the new budget) and even if he'd been caught, the puinishment is usually 30 days probation because the county attorney only answers to corporate lobbyists. Crime in Lawrence is only a crime when its against a corporation or shows an unwillingness to comply with arbitrary social mores. Its OK to rob an individual. I hope someone explains that to this guy in prison so he'll know which crimes to commit when he gets out.

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Bob Forer 2 years, 10 months ago

A serial convenience store robber claiming he is not career criminal? Maybe not, but only because he is too young to have a firmly established career. Anyone who uses a firearm on multiple occasions to rob convenience stores is an obvious danger to society. The sentence appears to be a little lengthy based on his age, but then again, Mike Malone is an exceptionally fair and compassionate judge who rarely hands out long prison sentences. I am sure 17 years is probably well deserved.

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kernal 2 years, 10 months ago

dumbkansans, the story was updated after xclusive85 posted his comment. It's possible the update added the information he asked about.

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dumbkansans 2 years, 10 months ago

You might want to get your vision checked.

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xclusive85 2 years, 10 months ago

Editors and writers for the Journal World, who is this Welch person? Mr. Simmons, please hire some competent editors. I am sure there are several people here in town that would be more than qualified.

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