ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) – A St. Joseph man told a judge he intended to get caught and go to prison when he tried to rob a convenience store but the clerk wouldn’t cooperate and refused to open the cash register.
Roy Murphy, 43, was ready to plead guilty earlier this week to second-degree attempted robbery a charge that would have sent him back to prison for up to seven years. But Circuit Judge Patrick Robb said attempted robbery requires threatening physical force, and simply asking for money from the cash register wasn’t enough.
“The one thing everybody agrees is he didn’t threaten anybody,” Robb said at the hearing.
Murphy walked into the store Nov. 22 and asked the clerk to open the register, but she refused, the St. Joseph News-Press reported. He had a camouflage ski mask with him but was not wearing it. After the clerk refused to give him money, Murphy asked her if putting the mask on would help, but it didn’t. So he told her to call the police and fled.
He was picked up a few blocks away.
Buchanan County Prosecutor Ron Holliday argued that entering the store and asking for money is a substantial threat, but Robb said he thought a conviction would be overturned on appeal. Holliday agreed to file an amended charge of felony attempting to take property appropriated from a victim.
That’s when Murphy intervened.
“I intended to go to prison,” Murphy said. “I’ve been out for a year. I’ve got nothing and I don’t know how to make it on the outside.”
Joshua Bachman, Murphy’s attorney, said his client has an extensive criminal record. Murphy said he also had been homeless.
Robb accepted the lesser charge and sentenced Murphy to four more years in prison.
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