Lima teenager gets 18 years for armed robberies

LIMA —A Lima teenager who at age 17 randomly robbed four people at gunpoint in a two-day span last year was sentenced Wednesday to a minimum of 18 years in prison.

The case of Keimarr Hankins-Liles had been bound over from juvenile court last year.

Prosecutors say Hankins-Liles robbed at least four individuals at gunpoint in separate incidents that took place on June 17-18. Cash and credit cards were stolen during the incidents.

He was indicted by a grand jury in December on four counts of aggravated robbery, each with three-year firearm specifications, and single counts of having weapons under disability, receiving stolen property and the aggravated possession of drugs.

In a deal reached with prosecutors last month, Hankins-Liles pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated robbery and the aggravated possession of drugs charge. In exchange for that plea prosecutors dismissed the remaining three counts and reduced one of the gun specifications to a one-year charge.

Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Mariah Cunningham said Hankins-Liles and another juvenile worked in tandem to execute the robberies, which occurred less than a year after he had been adjudicated as an adult for a 2020 robbery. Cunningham said the defendant had also assisted another juvenile in escaping from the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center in 2022.

The prosecutor cited a “pattern of alcohol and/or drug abuse” exhibited by the teenager.

Hankins-Liles told Judge Terri Kohlrieser that he accepted responsibility for his actions. He apologized to his family, the prosecutors and the court for his behavior and promised to use his time in prison “to be the best I can be.”

Kohlrieser posed questions of her own to Hankins-Liles.

“Have you ever had a gun pointed at your face?” the judge asked.

“Yes,” said the defendant.

“Did you like it?” the judge continued.

Hankins-Liles replied, “No.”

“This is what a lot of individuals in this county can’t see,” the judge said. “That a lot of people are throwing their lives away … for nothing. In your case it was $160 and a broken cell phone.”

Kohlrieser cited a state law, one with which see said she disagrees, that requires mandatory sentences and consecutive firearm specifications in some criminal offenses.

“I have to give you no less than nine years (in prison). I don’t have any choice,” the judge said.

In the final analysis the judge doled out a prison term that was twice that amount.