URBANA — A Gifford man who said he made a "horrible mistake" to get rent money was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison.
Scotty Richey, 52, pleaded guilty in March to armed robbery, admitting that on Sept. 29, he held a knife to an employee of Junior's Burgers & Custard, 1511 W. Springfield Ave., C, and got cash. He entered the business through a back door about 11:45 a.m. and left after getting cash from two employees.
Richey wept as he told Judge Heidi Ladd how he never meant to hurt anyone physically or emotionally.
"I made a horrible mistake. It doesn't make me a horrible person," Richey said. "All I was trying to do was get rent. I didn't think it through. I am truly remorseful for my actions."
Ladd noted that Richey had past problems with alcohol and cocaine and only two prior felony convictions in 1977 for burglary and 1991 for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
"This is not an option for easy access to money for whatever reason," Ladd said.
Assistant State's Attorney Adam Dill had recommended a 25-year sentence while Assistant Public Defender Amanda Riess asked for a sentenced of six to eight years.
Co-defendant Robert Lowenstein, 41, whose last known address was in the 400 block of South State Street, Champaign, also pleaded guilty to the armed robbery for driving the get-away car and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Dill said he had several prior convictions, including ones for rape and theft.