Robbery team headed off to jail/juvenile detention

Admitting he made a mistake but still declining to admit guilt, accused robber Ray Summers entered an Alford plea at his omnibus hearing Wednesday.

Summers, 18, was accused of orchestrating a complex robbery scheme in which he pretended to threaten a 15-year-old accomplice with a knife to scare the 16-year-old victim into giving up his wallet.

According to police reports Summers, a Port Orchard resident, met up with four other young men outside South Kitsap Mall in early February. Summers and his 15-year-old accomplice said they had gone to the mall to buy marijuana from the 16-year-old victim, although the 15-year-old told police they had no intention of actually paying for the drugs. When they found out the victim had no marijuana, Summers held a knife to the accomplice’s throat and yelled at the victim to turn over whatever money he had.

The victim and his companions were allowed to leave without incident, although Summers kept the victim’s wallet, which allegedly had several hundred dollars in it.

Because he used a deadly weapon to commit the robbery, Summers was charged with second-degree robbery, a “strike” offence under Washington’s Three-Strikes law. However, prosecutors declined to add a deadly weapon enhancement to Summers’ charge.

The accomplice was also charged with second-degree robbery under the juvenile court system. He pleaded guilty Feb. 13 and was sentenced to 10 days detention, 32 hours community restitution, 12 months probation and a $100 fine.

At Summers’ sentencing, which took place immediately following his guilty plea, Summers’ defense attorney, Aaron Talney, attempted to explain to the judge Summers’ choice of an Alford plea. An Alford plea is essentially a guilty plea in which the accused does not admit guilt — Talney apparently did not want the judge to think his client was refusing to take responsibility for the crime.

“He clearly should not have gotten himself into that situation and he’s taken responsibility for that,” Talney explained.

Judge Leila Mills asked Summers if he had anything to say about the crime and asked several questions about his plans for the future. Summers said he wanted to go into the military after getting out of jail and, if he was not eligible for that, he wanted to go to college. He told the judge he did not plan on getting into trouble anymore and was willing to take steps to prevent future run-ins with the law.

“I’m going to be more careful about who I hang out with in the future,” Summers said.

Mills agreed to uphold the prosecution’s recommendation of nine months in Kitsap County Jail, 12 months of probation and $1,870 in court costs and fines. Nine months is the top of Summers three-to-nine-month standard sentencing range. Mills also added a no-contact order between Summers and the victim.

“You’re only 18,” she said. “Let’s see you make some changes.”

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