Kandis Pleads Guilty to Trio of Robberies
Following Judge James Mazzone’s ruling that Michael Kandis’ confession could be presented as evidence during his trial, Kandis accepted a plea agreement and admitted to robbing three city businesses last year.
An Ohio County grand jury in May indicted Kandis, 30, of Wheeling, on charges of conspiracy, burglary and three counts of second-degree robbery.
On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to all three robbery counts. In exchange for his guilty plea, the prosecution dismissed the conspiracy and burglary charges.
Kandis faces between 15 and 54 years in prison during a sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. Parties are free to argue sentencing at that proceeding.
Mazzone denied Kandis’ request for a post-conviction bond. He has remained booked in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville since December.
During a suppression hearing last week, Kandis’ attorney, Randy Gossett, sought to keep his client’s recorded confession to Wheeling Police Detective Matt Taylor out of a potential trial.
Kandis called Taylor from jail searching for a deal about one week into his incarceration. During the conversation, a recording of which was played in court, Kandis offered to provide information about heroin dealers and hit men from Pittsburgh.
Taylor told Kandis he had no authority to authorize a deal, and could only pass the information along to the prosecutor’s office. Kandis continued to volunteer information, and confessed to all three robberies.
Gossett told Mazzone Kandis was going through drug withdrawal during the conversation, and was not mentally sound. The judge disagreed with that argument.
Kandis used a toy gun to rob a Little Caesar’s Pizza, the Elm Grove Carry Out and a Gumby’s, all in November.