LIMA — One of two Columbus residents charged in the botched armed robbery attempt at Duke’s Liquor Store in downtown Lima earlier this year agreed on Thursday to testify against her co-defendant when his case comes to trial early next year.
Jennafer Andrian, 29, accepted a plea deal from prosecutors that called for her to plead guilty to aggravated robbery for her role in the Sept. 14 robbery attempt at the liquor store, located at 630 N. Main St. The agreement amended the specification for the use of a firearm during the robbery from a mandatory three-year prison sentence — as contained in the original indictment — to a one-year mandatory prison term.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Terri Kohlreiser recommended a three-year prison sentence on the aggravated robbery charge, which will be served after the completion of the mandatory one-year term for the firearm specification. Common Pleas Court Judge David Cheney set sentencing for March 1.
Cheney told Andrian she would be eligible to apply for early judicial release after serving a minimum of 18 months in prison. If convicted on all charges, the Columbus woman faced up to 11 years behind bars.
Surveillance video obtained by police from the liquor store reportedly shows Andrian entering the store on the evening of Sept. 14 armed with a handgun. She approached an employee, James Hirn, and demanded money from the cash register. Hirn declined and Andrian turned fled the store empty-handed and climbed into a vehicle parked outside.
The vehicle’s license plate number was captured on video and detectives traced it to a Columbus suburb. Andrian and the co-defendant, Darnell Welch, 28, also of Columbus, were arrested on charges of aggravated robbery.
Andrian admitted to police that she entered the Lima liquor store, but said she did so only after Welch took the (apparently unloaded) gun, pointed it at her head and pulled the trigger. She told police officials she went inside to rob the store because she was afraid Welch would kill her if she failed to do so.
Welch also faces a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification. He is scheduled to stand trial beginning Feb. 26 in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Andrian was represented in court Thursday by local Attorney Athena Nyers.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.