LIMA — One of three Lima teenagers charged with robbing a man at gunpoint in April of this year was sentenced Monday to a minimum of three years in prison.
According to court documents, Swan Nichols, 19, of Lima, along with co-defendants Kaiden Keller and Colleen McKee, were attempting to settle a drug sale dispute when he and the others took $200 from the victim. Nichols produced a firearm during the commission of the crime, police said.
He was indicted on a first-degree felony count of aggravated robbery with a three-year firearm specification, but accepted a deal from prosecutors in October that saw him plead guilty to an amended count of burglary, a felony of the second degree. The firearm spec was reduced from three years to one.
According to Lima police, officers responded around 12:30 a.m. April 11 to the 2900 block of Elijah Parkway. A 22-year-old victim told officers he was picked up by three acquaintances when one pulled a gun. Another person in the vehicle struck the victim, police said.
The vehicle fled the scene and was located by officers a short time later with three persons inside. Two of the suspects, 19-year-old Kaiden Keller and 19-year-old Swan Nichols, were charged with suspicion of aggravated robbery and were taken to jail.
The victim, who was taken to an area hospital for treatment, told police he was supposed to be picked up and taken to a party by Nichols, Keller and Colleen McKee. When they arrived, the victim got into the vehicle and was seated next to Keller in the back seat when Swan produced a semi-automatic pistol and pointed at him, demanding all his money. Swan then reportedly hit the victim in the mouth with the gun and told him to get out. Keller also reportedly struck him.
Charges against McKee and Keller are still pending.
Prior to sentencing, defense attorney Kenneth Rexford argued the Reagan Tokes Law, an indefinite sentencing schematic adopted by the Ohio legislature in 2019, is unconstitutional. He said the ability of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to indiscriminately add time to a defendant’s sentence due to bad behaviour is an example of “the legislature taking power away from judges and giving it to lesser administrative bureaucrats.”
Judge Jeffrey Reed overruled that objection and sentenced Nichols to a minimum prison term of two years, with a maximum three-year prison stay. That sentence will be served at the conclusion of the mandatory one-year sentence for the firearm specification.