An Elma man must serve more than a year in prison for punching a store clerk while stealing beer, then leading a deputy on a high-speed chase, according to The Daily World of Aberdeen.
Judge Mark McCauley sentenced Justin G. Hoff to one year and one month in prison Monday for second-degree robbery and attempt to elude a pursuing police officer.
“This is the middle of the road,” McCauley said of the sentence between the 12- and 14-month range.
Defense attorney Harold Karlsvick said the Sept. 26 incident was the result of drinking and poor judgment.
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“This didn’t start out as a major crime,” he said. “When he drinks, this is what happens.”
Hoff and two friends pulled into the Del Cris Grocery parking lot in Elma about 1 a.m., and Hoff and another man grabbed two cases of beer each and walked out without paying, court records state.
The store clerk “ran out to get the license plate of the car,” court records state. “Hoff came over and hit (him) in the face causing injuries. The two individuals then got in the car and drove off.”
When a deputy spotted a car matching the clerk’s report, the vehicle sped away down state Route 8.
The deputy cornered the vehicle on a dead-end road and detained a third man in the vehicle. The man identified his two friends who had run away, including Hoff. Police arrested Hoff as he walked down a nearby road later that morning.