The driver of a vehicle involved in the robbery of a Hays convenience store was sentenced to probation Thursday morning after hearing harsh words from the judge.
Kelsey Replogle, 21, was sentenced to 36 months probation through Community Corrections after entering a no-contest plea earlier this month on a charge of robbery. That was reduced from the original charge of aggravated robbery.
Replogle and Jordan Stevens, 27, were arrested following a Nov. 3 armed robbery of Tiger Mart Convenience Store, 335 W. Eighth. Through surveillance video, police were able to identify a vehicle leaving the scene and located it behind an apartment building in the 2700 block of Canal Boulevard.
Police executed a search warrant on an apartment there, where they found a gun and clothes matching what was seen in the video, along with $1,086 in cash, $6 less than what was reported stolen.
Stevens pleaded not guilty to aggravated robbery Feb. 9 and has requested a jury trial.
On Thursday, defense attorney Olavee Raub told Ellis County District Court Chief Judge Glenn Braun that Replogle had played a passive role in the robbery, sitting in the car while Stevens allegedly robbed the store. Replogle also has a young child she wants to spend time with, Raub said.
Braun did not show much sympathy, however.
After asking Replogle about her son, who turned 3 while she was in jail, and noting she missed Christmas with him, Bruan said he wanted to talk with her.
“This was armed robbery. You were the driver,” he began.
“If that idiot who pulled that gun had pulled the trigger … you would be charged with felony murder,” Braun said to Replogle.
“The company you keep puts you on the precipice of a life sentence in prison. That’s the law,” he said.
“People like you scare me,” he continued.
“The fact you were a driver doesn’t make it any less excusable than the guy who had the gun,” Braun said, adding he wondered what kind of nightmares the store clerk still might be having from the experience.
Braun said he was inclined to not grant probation, but did anyway, citing a lack of significant criminal history. But he did note Replogle does have five prior criminal convictions, including a weapons charge.
She also is facing sentencing in Marshall County on a charge of trafficking contraband into a correctional facility, specifically a cellphone that Raub noted she surrendered to law enforcement.
Braun sentenced Replogle to 36 months with Community Corrections, stressing the conditions mean no alcohol or drugs, random drug testing, curfew and travel restrictions. Replogle also must gain and maintain employment.
“If I see you again, I will put you in for that 43 months,” Braun said, referring to the recommended prison sentence.
“You don’t have the luxury of being stupid any more.”
Replogle’s probation will run concurrent with sentencing in Marshall County.