A Douglas County judge Wednesday scolded a 23-year-old Lawrence man for his role in a December robbery at Walmart, 3300 Iowa, and ordered him to serve a 32-month prison sentence.
“This was an extremely serious matter. It involved the frightening of one individual,” District Judge Michael Malone said. “It involved a great deal of concern by law enforcement.”
Lonnie S. Schaefer in September pleaded no contest to robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated arson and distribution of marijuana. Prosecutors accused him of driving co-defendant William O. Patterson, 19, to the scene on Dec. 13. Patterson earlier this year pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for pointing a plastic BB gun at a Walmart clerk in the robbery and taking more than $7,000.
Assistant District Attorney James McCabria said Wednesday that Schaefer recruited several other co-defendants to serve as lookouts and that Schaefer and Patterson also were accused of developing a scheme to have the group throw a bottle full of flammable liquid onto the roof of McDonald’s, 1309 W. Sixth St., to create a diversion from the robbery. The bottle only slightly burned the roof.
Schaefer said Wednesday that he had reflected on his actions after spending nine months in jail since being charged.
“Sometimes if takes a different perspective to change the way you think,” he said.
Malone ordered Schaefer to serve 32 months in prison for robbery, 12 months for conspiracy to commit robbery, eight months for conspiracy to commit aggravated arson and 15 months on the marijuana charge. He will be allowed to serve the sentences concurrently, or at the same time. He will also get credit for the nine months he’s spent in jail.
Schaefer, Patterson and possibly other co-defendants will be required to pay the more than $7,000 restitution.
One of the men accused of serving as a lookout for the robbery, Nathan T. Moses, 31, of Lawrence, pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit robbery Wednesday afternoon, and Malone is scheduled to sentence him Dec. 22.