Lincoln man gets 7-13 years for robbery

2014-01-09T16:00:00Z 2014-01-13T17:25:09Z Lincoln man gets 7-13 years for robberyBy NICHOLAS BERGIN / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

The robbery started with a door in the 1800 block of Garfield Street being kicked in.

Two men, who police would later identify as Alontae Ross and Luis A. Diaz, entered through the broken doorway.

They both had their faces covered and Ross had a gun. They threatened the three people inside the apartment and demanded money. At some point, Ross shot a 28-year-old man in the chest.

Almost a year later, Lancaster County District Judge Andrew Jacobsen gave 19-year-old Diaz seven to 13 years in prison for his part in the Jan. 31, 2013, robbery.

Before announcing the sentence on Thursday, Jacobsen said there are some offenses for which he will not consider probation and a lesser sentence would depreciate the seriousness of the crime and promote disrespect for the law.

After the hearing, Diaz’s attorney, Mora James, told his sobbing loved ones: “He never had a chance.”

She seemed to be talking as much about his history as his chance of getting probation.

Diaz spent the first eight years of his life living in one of Mexico’s worst ghettos, she said during the hearing.

He started smoking marijuana and stealing to eat at age 5. His mother was an alcoholic and worked as a prostitute. It wasn't until she died that Diaz's father took him out of the ghetto.

Diaz saw things no child or adult should have to experience, James said. She said it was important the judge knew his history, but did not offer his upbringing as an excuse.

Diaz, who pleaded guilty in October to attempted robbery and making terroristic threats, acknowledged during the sentencing hearing that he made a terrible decision a year ago, apologized and told the judge he plans to turn his life around.

As long as he doesn't lose good time in prison, Diaz will be eligible for parole after 3 1/2 years and would serve 6 1/2 before his mandatory discharge date. He was given credit for 102 days served in jail.

Ross, 18, pleaded no contest Oct. 31 to first-degree assault and attempted robbery. He is set to be sentenced later this month.

Eighteen-year-old Davonte Jackson, who drove the getaway car, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and was sentenced in November to two to four years in prison with credit for 242 days served.

The man shot in the chest survived, according to court documents.

Reach Nicholas Bergin at 402-473-7304 or nbergin@journalstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/LJSBergin.

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Lincoln Murders, 2001-present

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Cases classified as murders by local law enforcement under the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting system, which does not include deaths caused by negligence, suicide, accident or justifiable homicide. Cases may be reclassified upon resolution.


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