Champaign man gets 4.5 years for throwing coffee on clerk

Champaign man gets 4.5 years for throwing coffee on clerk

URBANA — A Champaign man with a criminal history dating to 1980 was sentenced Tuesday to 4½ years in prison for throwing a cup of coffee on a convenience-store clerk in a botched holdup attempt.

Alexander M. Owens, 54, who last lived in the 1400 block of West Charles Street, pleaded guilty in October to aggravated battery for the attack. In return, the state dismissed a charge of attempted armed robbery alleging that Owens tried to rob the clerk at knifepoint.

The charges stem from an April 1 incident at the Circle K, 2315 W. Springfield Ave., C, that happened about 5:20 a.m.

Owens had gotten a cup of coffee and other items and put them on the counter. He then displayed a knife and ordered the clerk to give him the cash in the drawer. When the clerk refused, Owens threw the coffee on him and left.

Judge Heidi Ladd agreed to recommend Owens for drug treatment while in prison. He was given credit for 168 days already served.

Court records show he had prior convictions for theft, forgery, home invasion, residential burglary and aggravated robbery. He was on parole for robbery at the time of his arrest.

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