LIMA — A 20-year-old Lima man who police say took part in an armed robbery at the Lima West Apartments earlier this year pleaded guilty on Monday for his role in the incident.
Joseph Swinehart appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court for what was considered to be a pre-trial hearing. At that hearing Swinehart agreed to a deal from prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to a first-degree felony charge of aggravated burglary. In exchange for that plea, the state agreed to dismiss a second-degree felony count of robbery.
Swinehart will be sentenced Aug. 9.
According to court documents, officers from the Lima Police Department were dispatched to the apartment complex at 1855 N. Cole St. at approximately 7:15 p.m. on March 11 in reference to a robbery in Apartment 67. The residents reported they had been robbed at gunpoint by an unknown white male who was wearing sunglasses and a bandana over the bottom half of his face.
There were three people in the apartment, at the time of the robbery, police said. One of the subjects was Shawn Russell, 22, of Lima, who fled the scene prior to officers arrival, along with two females, whose names were withheld by police.
Early on in the investigative process, Russell was suspected of being complicit to the robbery and officers began searching for him, according to the statement. Shortly thereafter, police were able to identify the masked robber as Swinehart, reports indicate.
Investigators subsequently located Russell and Swinehart in a vehicle on the lot of The Lima Estates Apartments, 760 E. Fourth St., and took the men into custody on suspicion of robbery.