A St. Paul man was sentenced Thursday to more than 10 years in prison for the violent robbery and assault of an elderly woman in January that left her unconscious.
Deandre V. Wims, 25, apologized for what happened to the 75-year-old woman he robbed and choked unconscious in her Maplewood home, but Ramsey County District Judge Jennifer Frisch was not convinced of his remorse.
“What happened to her?” Frisch said forcefully, when Wims finished addressing the court. “Or what you did to her?”
Wims answered the judge, but his words could not be heard from the gallery.
“It is what you did,” Frisch said. “As you stand here, you’re just talking about you.”
Frisch handed down the maximum term she could for one count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of kidnapping — 10½ years.
“Even that doesn’t seem like enough,” the judge said.
Wims pleaded guilty in March. As a part of his plea deal, counts of first-degree aggravated robbery and first-degree burglary were dismissed. A separate case charging him with fraud for using a stolen credit card was also dismissed.
The deal fell within state guidelines — 7½ years on the low end, nearly 9 years midrange and 10½ years at the high end.
According to authorities: Wims and two accomplices robbed the woman on Jan. 2, tying her up and then choking her into unconsciousness at her home in the 1700 block of Gervais Avenue.
The woman told police that a young woman rang her doorbell, asked to use the phone and then brandished a handgun. Two male suspects soon arrived and ripped telephone cords from the walls.
They ransacked the home, taking jewelry and credit cards.
When given a chance to address the court, Wims spoke quietly, referring to a baby and to being “overwhelmed.”
Frisch admonished Wims, reminding him that he robbed and choked the woman, who was not present and did not deliver a victim-impact statement through the prosecutor.
“Why would you do such a thing?” she said. “It was selfish and cowardly and inhumane.”
Assistant County Attorney Chelsea Barr argued for the highest sentence, noting that Wims tried to blame others for his whereabouts that day.
“His remorse is for himself,” Barr said, “and because he has to go to prison and can’t take care of his family.”
As part of his sentence, Wims will also have to register as a predatory offender for 10 years.