Robber pleads guilty

May 27, 2015
Robert Brown with his attorney, Timothy Hayes.

Robert Brown with his attorney, Timothy Hayes.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — The 29-year-old Hart man accused of the strong-arm robbery at the Hart Express EZ Mart/Mobile gas station last month who fled from police the following day pleaded guilty as charged Wednesday, May 27, in 27th Circuit Court.

Robert Charles Brown pleaded guilty to unarmed robbery, which is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and fourth-degree fleeing and eluding, which carries a two-year maximum penalty.

In exchange for his pleas, his habitual offender status was dismissed, and a two-year minimum concurrent prison sentence if he is incarcerated was also agreed upon. Penalties are increased with habitual offender status.

The prosecutor’s office also agreed that it will not object to Brown serving his sentence in a Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI) facility or “boot camp” if he is eligible.

After being on the lam for nearly five days, Brown turned himself in to authorities. He is currently lodged in the Oceana County Jail on bond amounts of $25,000/10 percent and $10,000/10 percent.

Local police spent several days searching for Brown. He had been spotted by police in the M-20/Oceana Drive area and fled in a vehicle. He was then seen in the Woodrow Road/112th Avenue area and fled on foot. The Lake County K-9 Unit was called in to track him, but rainfall made tracking difficult.

Brown testified Wednesday that he acted alone and did not use a weapon during the robbery. “I nudged her over and took the money,” he said regarding the strong-arm robbery of the female clerk.

Judge Anthony Monton asked Brown how much money he took, and Brown replied, “I was under the influence, and I don’t remember.”

When questioned about the police chase the following day, Brown said, “I put it in four-wheel drive and floored it.”

Sentencing is set for July 6 at 9 a.m.


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