By Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writer
Faced with the choice of spending 12 to 18 months in Mercer County Jail or a possible 45 to 111 years in state prison, a Farrell man came clean about a robbery that cost the victim his shirt and Nike shoes and some cash.
Casey Edward Anderson Jr., 19, of 204 Florida St., on Monday pleaded guilty to robbery and conspiracy and, in exchange, the district attorney’s office said it “would not appeal a county sentence of 12 to 18 months.”
Charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, corruption of minors, reckless endangerment, simple assault, theft, receiving stolen property, harassment, and disorderly conduct were dropped. A mandatory minimum sentence with for a deadly weapon enhancement was waived.
In December, a Mercer woman whose home was the site of the crime, admitted her part in the assault and robbery.
Jenna A. Zomparelli, 19, of 420 N. Pitt St., was sentenced Friday to 18 months’ probation, 100 hours of community service and court costs.
Anderson said this week that he, Zomparelli and a third accomplice, Benjamin Jefferson, 17, of 441 Walnut St., Sharon, were hanging out June 14 with two others and agreed to try to rob the pair. He said Jefferson pulled a gun to threaten the victim.
Anderson told the judge he hit the victim in the middle of his chest, knocking him down, and took $516 and shoes from him.
Anderson at first rejected the plea deal and was ready to go to trial until the judge explained the possible consequences if a jury found him guilty.
“The court will recognize you did not cooperate. You will have a mandatory sentence,” said newly elected Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Daniel P. Wallace. “Sit over there and think about it for awhile.”
If convicted by a jury, the four felonies and five misdemeanors carry a maximum prison term of 45 to 111 years, Wallace said.
Later, Anderson stood in front of the judge and accepted the plea deal, with Wallace’s warning.
“I’m making eye contact with you now because I know we agreed to a county sentence,” Wallace said. “But if you violate parole – I call it a dance with the devil. A lot of what you do between now and your sentencing will determine your fate.”
If Anderson violates his parole, the plea deal goes away and he faces 20 to 40 years in state prison.
Anderson is scheduled to be sentenced April 4. He was released on his own recognizance.