A Douglas County judge Tuesday sentenced a 21-year-old man to serve four years in prison for his involvement in an armed robbery of two Kansas University students on campus last summer.
“I did the crime. Now I’m ready to the do the time,” Michael Martin Gerald told District Judge Paula Martin during the hearing.
Gerald had pleaded guilty in September to two counts of robbery and admitted to robbing two KU students early on June 23 as the young men were walking along Memorial Drive. Shortly after the robbery, KU police arrested Gerald and one of his childhood friends, Brandon James Huggins, 23, who was a Fort Leavenworth military police officer at the time. The students alleged two men robbed them.
Defense attorney Kevin Babbitt said during sentencing that Gerald immediately took responsibility for the robbery during his interview with police.
“I think he has been cognizant from the beginning at the poor choice he made that night for whatever reason,” Babbitt said.
Deborah Moody, an assistant Douglas County district attorney, said Gerald had come to Lawrence that evening to go bar hopping and then committed the robbery.
“This is a very unfortunate case,” Moody said. “I still don’t clearly understand why this had to occur.”
The prosecutors said the two victims, who testified at an earlier preliminary hearing, supported the plea agreement in the case.
Martin followed the agreement and sentenced Gerald to serve 49 months and 32 months in prison for the robbery charges, but he can serve them at the same time. She gave him credit for the four months he’s already served in jail. He also must pay $60 restitution.
Huggins faces a November trial in the case, but his attorney, Sarah Swain, has argued the Gerald has told police her client was not involved. Swain has also said police should have looked into the possibility a third man who was in the car with Gerald and Huggins could have been the second robber. A Fort Leavenworth spokesman says Huggins is no longer a solider stationed there.