The judge went against a recommendation for a shorter sentence.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Calling him bad, evil and someone who preys on weaker victims, Judge R. Scott Krichbaum sentenced Joey L. Foster to 10 years in prison for five aggravated robberies.
Judge Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Foster, 41, of Difford Street, Niles, to two years on each of the five counts and ran the sentences consecutively.
An agreement had been worked out between Patrick R. Pochiro, an assistant county prosecutor, and Atty. Thomas E. Hough, Foster's lawyer, for one-year prison terms on each charge. Foster pleaded guilty to the charges June 28.
Pochiro said the state would let the court determine if the time should run concurrently or consecutively.
Judge Krichbaum said the one-year prison terms were "woefully inadequate" for someone like Foster, who has a history of robbing people and who had served time in prison for robbery.
"You're bad; you're evil," Judge Krichbaum said at Wednesday's sentencing hearing. "You've made your way through life robbing helpless victims."
The judge noted that all five of Foster's victims were women, victims he perceived as weaker, easy prey, and unable to stand up to him. None of the victims were harmed, and on at least two occasions he used a toy gun in his robberies.
Hough said his client was "high on crack cocaine" during the robberies. "What he did was spur of the moment. He didn't plan to rob these people," Hough said.
Judge Krichbaum, however, said he disagreed with Hough's assessment of the situation, saying it sounded like Foster went out to rob people to buy crack.
"Committing these crimes to support his crack habit only exacerbates the situation," the judge said.
Foster said he has no excuse for committing the crimes.
"People have a right to go to work and not worry about someone robbing them," Foster said. "I apologize. I knew better."
Pochiro said the robberies took place in the county beginning March 30 and continuing until April 22, with Foster committing two of the robberies April 21. Two of his victims worked at local Kmart and Rite-Aid stores.
Foster also was on parole when he committed the crimes, the prosecutor added.
The judge said Foster's past criminal record shows he will rob again and he said consecutive sentences were called for. Judge Krichbaum said he holds firm in his belief that if someone commits multiple crimes, they should receive multiple sentences.