Judge: Robber's plea agreement is a steal

Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2002

A man accused of storming two Douglas homes earlier this year, mask-clad, gun in hand and demanding money, will spend the next three years in prison.

Cameron O'Neil, 22, was sentenced today in Juneau Superior Court to five years in prison with two years suspended and three years' probation.

He also was sentenced to an added 330 days in prison with 180 days suspended for five misdemeanor offenses in Petersburg for which he was on probation when he committed the Douglas robberies.

O'Neil and cohorts Rorie Miller, 23, and Joshua Coon, 21, originally were charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree burglary, both felonies, stemming from two residential robberies of Dec. 16.

The three men forced their way into a home on Creek Street and a home on Sixth Street in Douglas in the middle of the night demanding money, authorities said.

O'Neil, Coon and Miller pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery charges earlier this year. Miller was sentenced this summer to eight years in prison with four years suspended. Coon was sentenced earlier this summer to five years in prison with two years suspended.

All other charges against the three men were dropped.

Had O'Neil been convicted on all of the original counts he would have faced a maximum of 20 years for each robbery charge and 10 years for each burglary charge.

"I have no doubt you are guilty of first-degree robbery at both houses," said Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins today at O'Neil's sentencing. "I thought long and hard about this plea. ... I very nearly rejected it. The notion of citizens in this community waking up in their beds in the middle of the night with guns in their faces is condemned as one of the worst offenses there could be. ... The state gave you a gift with this sentence. Use it wisely."

No one spoke on behalf of the victims, whose names were not released, or for O'Neil. In court today O'Neil expressed remorse.

"I didn't realize that I would affect so many people when I did it or that it would affect them for so long," said O'Neil. "I wish I could go back and erase it for my sake and for theirs, but especially for theirs.

"I just want to say to those people that I'm sorry and I hope they can realize that these things don't happen in Juneau every day and hopefully they won't have to leave in order to feel safe again."

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