LIMA — A 41-year-old Lima man will be sentenced Feb. 24 after pleading guilty to robbing a downtown Lima gas station last fall at gunpoint.
After Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed called a brief time-out Monday to assure himself that the defendant fully understood the ramifications of the decision he was about to make, Calvin McGhee’s guilty pleas to charges related to the armed robbery of the Rich gas station on North Main Street were accepted.
McGhee was indicted by a grand jury in December on two counts of aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies that included a specification that the Lima man used a firearm during the commission of crime. Another specification labeled McGhee as a repeat violent offender.
A negotiated resolution with prosecutors called for McGhee to plead guilty to one of the aggravated robbery charges and a three-year gun specification, as well as an amended second-degree felony count of robbery. All other specifications were dismissed as part of the agreement.
During a courtroom conversation between Reed and the defendant, McGhee mentioned in passing that he had in the past suffered from “mental issues.” That disclosure alarmed the judge.
“Are there some competency issues we need to address here?” Reed asked of McGhee’s attorney, Carrol Creighton.
After a brief conference behind closed doors, Reed was satisfied that McGhee understood what was taking place and was competent to make a guilty plea.
McGhee faces somewhere between three to 24 years in prison when he is sentenced, with the likelihood that his term of incarceration will be on the lower end of that spectrum.
According to court documents, Lima police were called at approximately 6 a.m. Oct. 20, 2019, to the Rich gas station in response to an armed robbery. The suspect was described as a black male wearing a brown hoodie, blue Michigan beanie and blue jeans. Carrying a silver pistol covered in a plastic bag and pointing it at clerks, the robber demanded money before fleeing. The incident was captured on in-store video.
McGhee reportedly returned to the gas station on Nov. 3 and again attempted to rob the station, but fled when an employee pushed the store’s panic button to alert police. He was identified by the clerk.
Court documents show McGhee admitted to detectives he was the person who robbed the station.
“I’m just ready to get this over and done with,” McGhee said in court Monday.