Police Chief: Robbery sentence ‘too light’


By Anthony Conchel - The Sentinel



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MOUNT GILEAD — Village Police Chief Brian Zerman doesn’t believe justice was served in the sentencing this fall of a man charged with robbing a local pharmacy at gunpoint.

Brian K. Weber, 44, of U.S. 42 Cardington, was indicted by a Marion County Grand Jury in May on two counts of aggravated robbery with a firearm, a first-degree felony. He also was indicted for carrying a concealed weapon, a fourth-degree felony, stemming from his arrest in Marion County on April 3.

The charges stemmed from a Marion County robbery Feb. 6 and the Mount Gilead incident on Dec. 7, 2016.

“He shoved a gun in two peoples’ faces at the Rite Aid pharmacy here,” Zerman said. “He walked in and demanded Dilaudid.”

Weber changed his plea to guilty Oct. 13 in Marion County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced to serve four years on both robberies, and an additional 11 months on the weapons charge. However, the two aggravated robbery charges will be served together, meaning it is less than a five-year sentence and Weber will be eligible to apply for judicial release at that time.

Zerman said his agency worked closely with the Marion Police Department and MARMET task force/Marion County Sheriff’s Office on the case.

“We pieced together what happened and shared information. Since he was arrested in Marion, we agreed that prosecuting him there would make more sense, incorporating our charges with theirs. That’s not abnormal.”

Marion Police said in the Feb. 6 case that the robber showed a handgun and robbed the Rite Aid store there, then fled southbound on Richland Road in a black pickup truck. According to police reports, he took $800 worth of over-the-counter drugs.

Zerman said he doesn’t think the impact on the victims was given adequate consideration during the judicial process.

“There also should have been a minimum two counts of kidnapping. When you pull a gun on someone and order them to do something, you’ve restricted their movement. That’s kidnapping.

“The sentence was far too light, in my mind. You’ve got to make the punishment fit the crime,” Zerman said.

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By Anthony Conchel

The Sentinel