LIMA — A Lima teenager who took part in the coordinated armed robbery of a woman who was seeking to purchase an iPhone was sentenced Wednesday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to seven years in prison.
Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser had harsh words not only for 19-year-old Kirk Brenneman Jr., one of two co-defendants in the case, but also at the state Department of Youth Services, which she said failed Brenneman on multiple occasions.
Brenneman was indicted by a grand jury in November of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony that included a three-year firearm specification. In January he entered into an agreement with prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to an amended charge of robbery, a second-degree felony that included the firearm specification.
According to court documents, Brenneman and Jason Sledge, 20, both of Lima, were arrested and charged with suspicion of aggravated robbery following the Sept. 26 robbery of the woman at Lima Estates Apartments on East Fourth Street.
Police say the woman went to the apartment complex after being directed there by a subject posting an advertisement on the “Letgo” internet classified marketplace site. The person posted under the name “Rkm Money” and was attempting to sell an iPhone 11 for $300, police said.
Court records show the woman arrived at the apartments and watched as two subjects walked toward her car. One male, later identified as Sledge, got into the front seat of the vehicle. The other man, Brenneman, got into the rear passenger seat.
As the woman prepared to make the transaction, Sledge reportedly pulled a gun from his pants and pointed it at the woman, demanding her phone. He then “charged” the weapon by putting a live round in the chamber and pressed the gun against the woman’s abdomen and demanded her cell phone, while Brenneman loaded her PlayStation gaming device into his backpack.
Surveillance video was used to track the suspects into the building, and Brenneman and Sledge were subsequently taken into custody.
During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Kohlrieser railed against Brenneman’s past criminal history that includes a dozen adjudications as a juvenile, including several felonies.
“For a 19-year-old man, your (criminal) record is atrocious,” Kohlrieser told the teenager. “And never once were you sent to the Department of Youth Services (for incarceration). I blame the state authorities and their almighty pocketbook. The DYS and Department of Rehabilitation and Correction have basically paid their way out of doing their jobs, and this community deserves better,” Kohlrieser said. “Well, you’re in big boy court now, and the DRC doesn’t control me.”