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Judge denies robber's request for probation



Published: Fri, July 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The crime took place on the city's West Side.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Chris Thompson admitted his robbery of an elderly man this year was wrong, but he asked a judge to consider putting him on probation for the crime.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, however, quoting a lyric from The Rolling Stones, told Thompson, "You can't always get what you want."

At a sentencing hearing Friday, the judge put Thompson, 20, of Cooper Street, in prison for four years on a charge of aggravated robbery.

Thompson pleaded guilty to the charge April 26. On Feb. 17, Thompson, who admitted he was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, sneaked up behind a 74-year-old man who was getting out of his vehicle on Mahoning Avenue on the city's West Side, put a knife to the man's throat, and robbed him of his wallet and other belongings.

"I am deeply regretful for what I've done," Thompson told Judge Krichbaum. "I never thought I would be capable of doing such horrible things."

Plea support

Thompson's lawyer, Robert Rohrbaugh, also made a plea to the court to put Thompson on probation and allow him to be placed in a substance abuse program.

"He knows he did it and what he did was wrong," Rohrbaugh said, adding that his client has been using drugs and alcohol since he was 13. Rohrbaugh added that Thompson "is in the bud of his life," and that probation in lieu of prison time, with proper treatment, would allow him the chance to get his life together.

Judge Krichbaum said, however, "You sneaked up behind an old man and put a knife to his throat. How can you make that right?"

The judge said he respected Rohrbaugh's plea on Thompson's behalf and also acknowledged that Thompson "stepped up and confessed" he committed the crime.

He also said the fact that Thompson is so young, has no major prior criminal record, has an eighth-grade education and a young daughter, and also needs drug rehabilitation did merit some consideration for probation.

"But I can't, and I won't let you go," Judge Krichbaum said.

The judge said he also had to consider what happened to the victim. "His whole life changes now because of you," the judge told Thompson.




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