Chesterton Tribune



Man in Michigan prison gets 10 years for aiding in attempted robbery of Amoco

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A man currently serving time in a Michigan prison for an armed robbery has been sentenced to 10 years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) after pleading guilty to aiding in the attempted armed robbery of the Chesterton Amoco in 2001.

Erik Samuel Gonzales, 30, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in the DOC. That sentence, however, is to be served concurrent to the one which Gonzales is now serving in Michigan.

Aiding in an attempted robbery is a Class B felony punishable by a term of six to 20 years.

Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper made note in her sentencing order of one aggravating factor, namely, that Gonzales has a conviction in Michigan for armed robbery, which in fact he committed about an hour before the one in Chesterton.

Harper also made note of two mitigating factors: Gonzales’ admission of guilt and his “youthful age”--18--at the time of the robbery.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by the Chesterton Police Department, at 4:50 a.m. March 31, 2001, two men entered the Amoco at 525 Indian Boundary Road. “One paid for gas and left,” the affidavit stated. “The other came to the counter to buy a bag of chips.” That second man then pulled a handgun, cocked it, and demand the money in the register.

The clerk, though, noting that a round was stuck in the gun’s ejection port and guessing that the gun probably would not fire, “threw the money at the person and ran into the office to activate the alarm and call the police,” the affidavit stated.

Surveillance tape shows the man with the handgun “attempting to shoot” the clerk as the clerk was running. the affidavit also stated.

The man with the gun was Gonzales’ accomplice, Rex R. Tyler, who was sentenced to 15 years in the Indiana DOC for attempted robbery. He was released in January 2012.

Tyler admitted to trying to shoot the Amoco clerk, while Gonzales admitted to actually committing the armed robbery in Michigan about an hour before the one in Chesterton.

Gonzales remains incarcerated at Newberry Correctional Facility, where he is serving a minimum term of 11 years and three months, with the earliest possible release date of June 30, 2014.



Posted 10/4/2013







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