YOUNGSTOWN Judge sentences 2 men in robbery
Two men cooperated and were placed on probation instead of in prison .
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge has served up prison sentences for two men who robbed a Boardman restaurant 18 months ago.
Gareth L. White, 21, and Raymond V. Williams, 24, both of West LaClede Avenue, were each sentenced to four years in prison by Judge Jack Durkin for a charge of aggravated robbery.
Each also got three years for a firearm specification, giving them a total of seven years.
White and Williams were among four men charged in connection with a November 1999 robbery at TGI Friday's restaurant on Tiffany Drive in Boardman, where White worked in the kitchen.
"He was the one who set it all up for the others to come in and do the robbery," said assistant prosecutor Terry Grenga.
Two others: The other suspects, Reuben Talley, 19, and Enrique Rodriguez, 21, both of South Jackson Street, had each previously pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and were each placed on probation for three years.
Grenga said Talley and Rodriguez received probation instead of prison because they cooperated with authorities from the beginning and had agreed to testify against the others had their cases gone to trial.
Neither Talley nor Rodriguez had a prior criminal record, Grenga said.
"Here were two guys who had never been in trouble before. It was just an act of stupidity," Grenga said.
What happened: Boardman police said White let the others into the restaurant through a back door after it had closed. They robbed the eatery of some $1,900 and then fled in a van that was waiting along Interstate 680.
A Boardman police officer was investigating an alarm at a neighboring business when he heard the commotion, ran to the restaurant and saw the suspects running over an embankment to the van. They were caught a short time later in Struthers.