Over the objection of County Attorney Mike Freeman, the lookout during an armed robbery of patrons in a Minneapolis sports bar was given a 90-day jail sentence and granted court permission to leave his cell so he can fulfill his duties with the Minnesota Army National Guard.
Richard R. Collins, 22, of Minneapolis, was sentenced last week in Hennepin County District Court after pleading guilty to first-degree aggravated robbery stemming from the stickup on Jan. 11 of Sporty's Pub and Grill near the University of Minnesota.
While Collins pleaded guilty to a felony, Judge Pamela Alexander chose to impose a non-felony sentence. The sentencing document noted that Collins "played a minor or passive role" in the robbery as one reason for the lower level of punishment. The document added that Collins agreed to be placed on probation and was "amenable to treatment" for chemical dependency.
The maximum sentence was a 20-year prison term.
His sentence also calls for restitution to be made totaling nearly $1,000 and that he not possess any "firearms, ammunition or explosives … except for military training."
Collins, a private in the Minnesota Army National Guard, will be granted furloughs for training as a member of the 135th Infantry, which is headquartered in Mankato. A list of his obligations filed with the court includes annual training starting in mid-June and lasting for a month.
Freeman objected to the sentence because "it was a serious gun crime."
"Mr. Collins knew what Mr. Caldwell was planning to do, and he was present for the crime," Freeman said.
Defense attorney Geoffrey Isaacman declined to comment.
Collins said his role was as a lookout while Jerome Caldwell went inside and held up customers with a BB gun. Caldwell, 37, Minneapolis, has pleaded guilty to nine counts of first-degree aggravated robbery and remains jailed ahead of sentencing on June 16. There is no plea deal in the works.