LIMA — Quintez Hawkins was defiant to the bitter end during his sentencing hearing Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
The 19-year-old Indianapolis man — the third of four young Hoosiers to be sentenced for their roles in the April 2017 armed robbery of a Lima Walgreens pharmacy — maintained his innocence, claiming he had received ineffective legal representation and hinting at racial bias in the selection of the jury that convicted him late last year of armed robbery with a firearm specification.
Judge David Cheney sentenced Hawkins to a total of 10 years in prison — seven years on the robbery charge and a mandatory three-year sentence for the use of a firearm during the commission of the crime.
The sentence handed down to Hawkins, who prosecutors agree did not possess the gun during the pharmacy robbery, was two years longer than that received by the actual gunman.
Senneca Rivers, 18, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty in October to a reduced charge of aggravated burglary in connection with the robbery and was sentenced to five years in prison, with a mandatory additional three-year sentence for carrying a gun during the execution of the crime. Prosecutors had alleged that Rivers jumped over a counter in the pharmacy area of the store, pointed a gun at the pharmacist on duty and demanded he remove oxycodone from the safe.
Another co-defendant, Treyvon Manning, 19, was sentenced to three years in prison as a participant in the armed robbery incident. Abigail Lee, 26, of Indianapolis, faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 16 but is widely expected to receive a much lighter sentence due to her relatively minor role in the armed robbery and her cooperation with prosecutors since her arrest.
During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Hawkins told Cheney his attorney, Steven Chamberlain, “did not put forth genuine effort” in his defense. The young Hoosier also said there was racial bias in the selection of jurors in his case and said they were prejudiced by being allowed to view him in handcuffs during the trial.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jana Emrick had asked the court to impose “a sentence well beyond the six-year minimum” that Hawkins could have received. Emrick said in excess of 3,400 oxycodone pills were stolen from the pharmacy and those pills had a wholesale value of more than $17,000. She said the robbery was committed so Hawkins could “restock his inventory for his drug-dealing business in Indianapolis.”
Hawkins said he would appeal the verdict in his trial.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.