One of the teenagers who robbed a yard sale in April will likely return home to Wisconsin and get the charges cleared from his record, assuming he stays out of trouble for five years.
The other, who was on probation for another offense when he robbed the yard sale, will likely spend five years in prison.
Derek Hebel, 19, of Winter, Wis., and James Cunningham, 18, of Radisson, Wis., entered guilty pleas after a mediation Friday. They previously had a trial scheduled for Nov. 4.
On April 16, the two defendants and a pair of juveniles drove up to a yard sale on Henderson Drive. The juveniles stepped out and snatched a cash box from a table on the driveway, police said.
They got back into a Pontiac Sunbird, which Cunningham drove, and raced around the block. The sunbird came back up the road and crashed into two vehicles belonging to the family that put on the yard sale.
Hebel and the juveniles ran across several streets and police caught them in a nearby field. The family held Cunningham in the car and police arrested him at the scene.
The juveniles later entered guilty pleas and returned to Wisconsin.
Police initially charged Cunningham with first-degree robbery, second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and failure of non-owner to retain required insurance. At Friday’s mediation, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Cotthoff agreed to amend the robbery charge to theft by unlawful taking over $500.
At the urging of Mike and Debbie Sholar, the couple who operated the yard sale, Cotthoff’s office recommended a five-year pretrial diversion for Cunningham.
“They basically wanted Cunningham to have a way to get this off the record at some point,” Cotthoff said.
Cunningham apologized to the Sholars after the mediation, Cotthoff said. His guilty plea requires him to pay them $1,000 restitution.
At the time of the robbery, Hebel was on probation for assaulting a corrections officer in Wisconsin, Cotthoff said. Wisconsin officials will eventually extradite him from Kentucky.
Instead of first-degree robbery and first-degree fleeing or evading, he pleaded to the same charges in the second degree. He also pleaded to second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.
Cotthoff’s office recommended a five-year sentence without probation, to run consecutive to any other felony convictions.
Christian Circuit Judge John Atkins has not yet issued the defendants’ final sentences.
Nick Tabor can be reached at 270-887-3231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.