MARIETTA - A Belpre man was sentenced to 30 months behind bars Thursday morning for his involvement in staging a robbery at his own home in February.
Prosecutors say Chapman Rake, 23, of 108 Third St., Belpre; his wife and then-girlfriend, Tamika Anderson, of 2105 Miller Ave., Belpre; and Rake's cousin, Nolan Sprouse, of Burgaw, N.C., came up with a plan to invite a woman to Rake's residence and for Sprouse to enter the home and commit a robbery.
Anderson and Rake invited the acquaintance to the residence and Sprouse entered the home wearing a mask and wielding a knife, officials said. Sprouse took $50, a cell phone and an ID from the woman, who was accompanied by her 3-year-old child during the staged robbery, officials said. The property was eventually recovered.
In Washington County Common Pleas Judge Ed Lane's courtroom Thursday, Rake apologized for his actions.
"I regret everything that happened. It was a stupid decision," he said. "If I could go back, it would never happen...I can assure you that. I'm not that kind of guy- you guys might not think that- but I'm sorry."
Rake was initially charged with second-degree felony conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery; however, he was sentenced for third-degree felony robbery.
"There was a plea deal. We dismissed the second-degree (felony conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery) and he pleaded to a bill of information charging him with (third-degree felony robbery)," said Assistant Washington County Prosecutor Ray Dugger.
Anderson was sentenced to 90 days in jail and she will be released Sunday, according to Dugger. She was charged with fourth-degree felony attempted robbery.
Dugger said Rake was "not the prime mover" in the incident.
"That would've been his cousin, who is in prison now in North Carolina- but having said that, Mr. Rake could have made choices that would have ensured he not be part of the events at all," Dugger said. "He unfortunately didn't make those choices and ended up being involved in a rather serious offense and we would ask the court to sentence him appropriately."
Dugger noted that Sprouse is serving "a significant amount of time on a variety of charges" in a North Carolina prison.
Rake's attorney, Joseph Brockwell of Marietta, agreed that Rake was not the "instigator" and described the incident as "stupidity."
"Once police were called and the police got there, it didn't take long for him to turn himself around and tell them what he did, although he initially denied it," Brockwell said.
Brockwell noted that Rake's prior criminal record is not significant compared to the criminal records of most individuals who are charged with a similar crime.
According to Lane, Rake was charged with possession of marijuana as a juvenile and he was convicted of disorderly conduct as an adult.
Lane agreed that most individuals charged with a similar crime have a more significant criminal record but he pointed out that Rake did not get evaluated through the SEPTA Correctional Facility in Nelsonville, even though he was told to do so.
Rake stated that he did the evaluation over the phone but Lane's bailiff, Don Wilson, phoned the facility during the sentencing and an official there said Rake had not called and failed to show up twice.
"Normally this court would've considered you for community control but I made it real clear that I wanted a SEPTA evaluation, made it real clear how to get it and they say that you've not seen that it was done and taken care of," Lane said.