Armed robber gets nine years in prison.

By Peter H. Milliken


A Crandall Avenue man is going to prison for nine years after he pleaded guilty to the Aug. 19 armed robbery of two female employees as they were closing the Belmont Avenue Dairy Queen on the city’s North Side.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court imposed the sentence Tuesday on Brian L. Simmons, who turns 22 today.

The judge made the prison term consecutive to a year in prison he had imposed in October after Simmons violated his probation on an earlier receiving stolen property charge by being arrested for the August robbery.

“I’m fearful now of everything and everyone,” one robbery victim, said of the impact of the robbery on her. “I can’t walk out on the street and feel safe anymore.”

Simmons and two juvenile accomplices robbed the employees of a cellphone and a small amount of personal cash, but not of the store’s money, said Martin P. Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor. The prosecution believes all three robbers were armed, he added.

Desmond recommended a seven-year prison term for Simmons, consecutive to the year imposed for the probation violation.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry,” Simmons told the victims.

“Evil” and “despicable” were among the words Judge Krichbaum used to describe the robbery. The judge told Simmons he robbed the victims, not only of their belongings, but also of their dignity and security.

Nobody was physically injured in the robbery.

Simmons will be on parole for five years after he leaves prison.

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