WHEELING - After William Carman said he took part in the staged robbery of a Clearview bar in May because he needed money, Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone told the 26-year-old Wheeling resident to "get a job."
Carman, who has been in jail since his May 10 arrest, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of conspiracy and fleeing. Mazzone subsequently sentenced him to two to 10 years in prison.
"If you need money so bad that you feel that you have to conspire with someone else to take someone else's money or their belongings, get a job," Mazzone told Carman. "There are jobs out there if you need money that bad, rather than stealing."
Photo by Tyler Reynard
Williams Carman, right, stands next to Assistant Public Defender James Tiu in Ohio County Circuit Court on Monday.
Carman and Brenda Wilhelm allegedly staged a robbery May 9 at Bernie's Bar, where Wilhelm works, but the plan was thwarted when a state Department of Natural Resources officer spotted toilet paper covering the license plates on the getaway car.
Wilhelm, 39, of Wheeling allegedly sent a text message to Carman, informing him she was alone at the bar. Carman arrived a short time later and the pair acted out the robbery scenario for the business' cameras.
Video surveillance reportedly shows Carman, wearing a mask and wielding what was later determined to be a BB gun, push Wilhelm to the ground and raid the cash register.
Wilhelm subsequently called 911 and reported a robbery. Ohio County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the scene about 9:45 p.m.
A DNR officer in the area, however, noticed that toilet paper was covering the license plates of Carman's Buick sedan. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop when Carman sped away.
The pursuit continued into Warwood and reached speeds around 100 mph. Carman abandoned his vehicle in front of a Vance Avenue home and fled on foot. Following a foot chase, Wheeling police officers eventually cornered Carman in the area of North 23rd Street and Warwood Avenue, took him into custody and handed him over to sheriff's deputies.
In exchange for his guilty plea Monday, the prosecution agreed to not prosecute Carman on felony charges of grand larceny and entering without breaking.
Wilhelm is charged with grand larceny and conspiracy to commit grand larceny. She remains free on $50,000 bond.