A Pemberville man who pleaded guilty to robbing a Bowling Green convenience store has been given a sentence of community control.
Joshua Cox, 25, appeared Tuesday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger. He was transported from the jail for the hearing.
He was indicted in August for aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.
In October, Cox pleaded guilty to the amended charge of robbery, a second-degree felony. The second charge was dismissed.
Defense attorney Sara Roller said her client had no prior record as a juvenile or an adult.
He has received addiction and mental health services at A Renewed Mind, and she said she thinks he will benefit from grief counseling, which he previously had refused after the death of his mother.
After her death, Cox’s substance abuse problems went out of control, which led up to this offense, Roller said.
On July 13, Cox entered Circle K at 1602 E. Wooster St. and held a knife to the clerk and demanded money. He left the store with two cans of beer. A search warrant of his home found the clothing he was wearing at the time of the robbery – ascertained through video surveillance — hidden in the drop ceiling tiles in his bedroom.
According to court documents, when questioned, Cox confessed to the robbery.
Video surveillance of the incident showed her client apologized to the clerk for what he was doing, Roller said.
She admitted there was a presumption of incarceration but asked for a sentence of community control to give Cox an opportunity to show the court he can do what is needed.
Reger pointed out the defendant had failed previous allowances while on his own, including drinking a beer and smoking crack cocaine the day before he met with adult probation.
Cox said he has been consuming alcohol for six years.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Anderson said Cox threatened someone with a deadly weapon to feed his addiction.
While the surveillance video showed Cox’s ineptitude during the offense, Anderson said that he poses a danger to society. He said he didn’t think community control should be considered.
Cox said it was not in his nature to do this.
“I don’t know why I did it,” he said, and added alcohol and cocaine took control of him.
“People will say this guy is a danger and a low life. I’m upset with myself because this is not how I am,” Cox said.
He said after his mom died, things started to go downhill. He admitted he should have listened to the advice he got from hospice and entered grief counseling.
Reger asked him why the court should give him the opportunity for community control and treatment.
“Because I believe with the right resources I can get through it,” Cox said.
When asked by the judge if he was willing to accept those resources, Cox said yes.
Reger said the state was correct and that the presumption of prison is appropriate. However, the pre-sentence investigation reported the victim did not fear for his safety.
“That does not excuse what you did,” Reger said.
He sentenced Cox to five years of community control and ordered him to enter and complete the SEARCH program held at the NorthWest Community Corrections Center.
Cox also must enter and complete chemical dependency and substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling.
Reger reserved an eight-year definite prison sentence and 12 years indefinite if Cox violates the terms of community control.