A 19-year-old Lewis County man was sentenced to 14 months in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to robbery charges stemming from a February incident at Capital Mall in west Olympia.
Joshua L. Meza pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree robbery on Sept. 25 before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch. He appeared before Hirsch again Friday and asked that his sentencing be postponed for another two weeks so that he could complete a roofing job.
Hirsch denied his request.
“I believe it’s time for you to serve your sentence,” Hirsch said.
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Meza and his co-defendant, Kirstan A. Flatt, 20, were both originally charged with two counts of first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon. But both pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery charges as part of plea deals.
Flatt was sentenced in September to a year in prison, and is scheduled to start serving her time this month.
Meza’s sentence is longer than Flatt’s because he was convicted of being a minor in possession of alcohol, malicious mischief and third-degree assault as a juvenile. Prior to her February arrest, Flatt had no criminal history.
Court documents and the Olympia Police Department give the following account of the robbery:
Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at 7:32 p.m. Feb. 21. Victims told police they had arranged to buy a 1992 Honda Accord from someone who advertised it on Facebook. While waiting for the sellers in the parking lot near Macy’s, two men approached the victims’ vehicle, brandished a gun and took $1,500 in cash.
The suspects fled in a red Volkswagen Jetta, and the victims followed while relaying information to 911. Two suspects got out of the Jetta and ran off near Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road. One of the suspects who ran was detained, and officers were able to stop the Jetta as it entered the on-ramp to U.S. 101. A fourth suspect is still at large.
Police impounded the Jetta and recovered two semi-automatic handguns. Flatt, who was driving the Jetta, told officers that the Facebook account had been created for the purpose of trying to scam a prospective car buyer, according to court documents.
A corrections officer at the county jail reported that he had recovered a bundle of $20 bills concealed in Meza’s underwear. The bills were bound with two rubber bands — one of which had been tied — just as the victims had described.
Two juvenile suspects also were involved in the incident.