Judge Patrick Robb of the 5th Judicial Circuit Court in St. Joseph, Mo., rejected a proposed plea after deciding to protect a defendant from his own desire for a long prison sentence.
Defendant Roy Murphy tried to plead guilty to second-degree attempted robbery based on his
botched holdup of a convenience store.
It seems Murphy asked the convenience store clerk to "please" open the cash register, and then told her
to "Please call the police" before fleeing the store on foot.
arrest shortly afterward came less than a year after he
was released from prison based on an earlier conviction.
While entering his
plea, Murphy told Judge Robb
was looking forward to the proposed seven-year sentence since he
already had spent so much time in prison that he
didn't know how to live on the outside.
But there was a problem with the attempted robbery charge.
The judge said the law required that threatening physical force be used, so he
refused to convict Murphy.
"The one thing everybody agrees is he
didn't threaten anybody," Judge Robb
was quoted as saying at the hearing.
The judge explained that he
was worried a conviction could be overturned on appeal based on a lack of evidence.
At the same time, Judge Robb
noted the incident was dangerous, and "Mr.
Murphy's criminal record is terrible."
A solution emerged when the prosecutor agreed to file an amended felony charge of attempting to take property.
The resulting four-year sentence will likely prevent costly appeals and prevent Murphy from serving three more years than he