GREENVILLE — A Piqua man arrested for robbery was sentenced Thursday in Darke County Common Pleas Court.
Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein sentenced Eric D. Higgins Jr., 28, to three years in prison for robbing the Greenville Speedway gas station on Wagner Avenue February 19.
Higgins appeared in court via video teleconference from the North Central Correctional Complex in Marion, Ohio, where he is serving a two-year sentence from Miami County for robbing the Kroger store in Piqua and a six-month sentence from Auglaize County on an inducing panic charge. The three-year sentence will be served concurrently with his other sentences.
Higgins first pleaded guilty to the robbery, a second-degree felony, then the case moved to sentencing. He was represented in court by defense attorney Alex Pendl. Darke County Prosecuting Attorney R. Kelly Ormsby spoke on behalf of the state.
Ormsby recommended the court impose either a four-year sentence to be served concurrently, or a two-year sentence to be served consecutively. He also asked the court to impose restitution for the money stolen from the gas station.
Pendl asked the court for a concurrent two-year sentence in order to focus on treatment for his client instead of punishment.
“This incident and the related incident in Miami County all stem from a series of bad decisions from Mr. Higgins relating to his cocaine addiction. He was not armed at the time, he had no weapon. After his arrest he did fully cooperate with law enforcement, including confessing to both his drug addiction and his involvement in this robbery,” he said.
Higgins apologized both to the court and the victim of the robbery.
“I kind of let drugs take over my life,” he said. “I had a cocaine addiction real bad.”
In addition to the three-year concurrent sentence, Judge Hein ordered Higgins to pay $719 in restitution as well as pay court costs. Higgins will be subject to a mandatory three-year period of supervision following his release, likely sometime in 2020.
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