Beacon Station robbers sentenced
April 30, 2013 — Two men charged with robbery of the Beacon Gas Station were sentenced to state prison Tuesday, April 9.
Paul Carter Bauer was sentenced to four years and eight months in on felony charges of second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary. He was also charged with an enhancement that a deadly weapon, a baseball bat, was used during the alleged crime.
Patrick Donald McKee, 27, was sentenced to five years in state prison on a felony charge of second-degree robbery. He pleaded guilty to the charge on March 26. Felony charges of burglary, unlawfully taking property belonging to another and an enhancement that a shotgun was allegedly used during the crime were dismissed.
Together the defendants will pay restitution of $1,275 to Beacon Gas Station.
Bauer was found guilty of the charges after a February jury trial. He was also found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of petty theft. However, Lassen County District Attorney Bob Burns said Bauer could not legally be sentenced for the petty theft as well as robbery because of the prohibition on double sentences for the same conduct per Penal Code 654.
During sentencing, Lassen County Superior Court Presiding Judge Michelle Verdersoa told Bauer it was extremely unfortunate he chose an armed robbery as his first adult crime, and she encouraged him to think about his actions while in prison.
“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you,” she said.
Jacob Zamora, of the public defenders office, represented McKee and requested Verderosa consider a mid-term sentence and cited some issues he had with the probation report and how it was laid out.
According to the court records, Zamora said the personal use enhancement was stricken, but the problem was he didn’t think they could get around the fact a gun was used.
Zamora said, “That is certainly a circumstance in aggravation, but I would submit that there’s nothing else to support an aggravated term, your honor, at least from the defense point of view. We’d ask the court to start with the mitigated term, find that there’s really no aggravating and mitigating factors and impose a four-year term. It’s not a slap, it’s not going to be a slap on the wrist for Mr. McKee. He is going to a state prison term.”
He also said, “I would ask the court to consider a mid-term on this and I would argue that this case as far as many second-degree robberies is neither more serious or less serious than any others that might have taken place, and I would hope the court would consider those comments, please.”
Burns responded and said, “…We don’t see these in this community very much, we don’t see them at all hardly, and, you know, it is legitimate — actually, the punishment is the primary purpose of sentencing … I mean to say, we sentence this defendant somewhat aggressively and hopefully others will sit up and take note that you can’t do that here and that’s my request.”
Verderosa denied Zamora’s request and accepted the probation department’s recommendation of the five-year term.
She said, “Mr. McKee comes to this court with, this would be his third felony conviction. His convictions as juveniles were violent offenses. His conviction as an adult was sexual battery where he was sent to prison for three years, and he had five violations of parole since then for that prison term.”
Verderosa also said, “this court finds using that weapon is completely unacceptable and that is an aggravating term, and so the court is going to adopt the recommendation.”
Bauer and McKee were arrested after an investigation into the robbery that occurred at 2:55 a.m. at the Beacon Gas Station Nov. 22, 2012, Thanksgiving morning.
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