Wisconsin man sentenced for local McDonald’s robbery

Donald Sirrell talks to his attorney, Rolf Baumgartel, at a sentencing hearing Tuesday morning in Washington County Common Pleas Court. (Photo by Michael Kelly)

MARIETTA – A man who held up the McDonald’s restaurant on Glendale Road by threatening staff members with a replica of a .45-caliber pistol in August was sentenced to four years in prison by Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth on Tuesday.

Donald Sirrell, 58, of Wisconsin, was arrested the day after the robbery after staff at the Hackett Hotel notified police that a man resembling an image of the robber had checked in. Police found $651 and a BB gun in Sirrell’s room.

Although the weapon he used in the robbery was a BB gun, it was styled as an exact replica of a model 1911 A1 45 pistol, according to Marietta Police Chief Rodney Hupp, who at The Times request provided a photograph of the gun in evidence.

“Even a gun aficionado such as myself would have had to have it within arm’s reach and give it a more than cursory examination to tell that it was not a real pistol,” Hupp said. “This is as good a copy as any movie prop I have seen.”

Prosecutor Amy Graham told Burnworth that Sirrell had terrified the restaurant staff.

The BB gun used by Donald Sirrell to rob the Glendale Road McDonald’s restaurant in August remains in the Marietta Police Department evidence locker. (Photo courtesy of Marietta Police Department)

“It’s the first time they had been robbed, and the young woman was traumatized,” she said. “He terrified that young woman.”

Graham asked the court to imposed a five-year sentence, which she said would be “more than appropriate.”

Burnworth said he had read the pre-sentencing investigation and victim impact statement and found that although the McDonald’s held up by Sirrell had run a 24-hour operation for seven years, after the robbery the store management changed the hours. It is now open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., according to the restaurant’s online summary.

“You have a lengthy record for this kind of offense in two or three states,” he said, looking at Sirrell, who sat motionless in orange jail garb next to his attorney, Rolf Baumgartel.

“He’s facing a number of years in Wisconsin,” Baumgartel told the judge, and requested that his client be given a three-year sentence in Ohio. “It’s less of a burden on the state,” he said.

Given the chance to make a statement, Sirrell expressed remorse.

“I’d like to express my regrets and a sincere, heartfelt apology for my bizarre, self-serving actions,” he said. “I am truly ashamed, and I pray I can somehow atone … I have no memory of that evening because I had consumed copious quantities of hard liquor. My drinking began 39 years ago when I attended Marietta College, and alcohol has been the bane of my existence.

“When I’m sober I have good social skills. I’m just asking for a chance to learn to live without alcohol. I made it through a year, I had a job, I got married to a lovely woman. I’m an OK guy when I’m sober,” he said. “Thank you for your consideration.”

Burnworth gave him four years in prison, five years of post-release community control, and court costs but no fine. At the end of his prison term, he’ll be turned over to Wisconsin.

COMMENTS