Court upholds Proctorville woman#8217;s sentence

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The sentence of a woman who was the getaway driver after a robbery last year will stand despite her claims that the eight-year term she received was too hefty for the crime she committed.

The Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from Nikki Lewis, 28, of Proctorville, who is currently serving time in the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville for complicity to aggravated robbery and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer. She was convicted after a one-day trial last year in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

She and two other men were involved in the robbery of the B & L Game Room in Proctorville, April 5, 2006. Her cohorts, Johnny Belcher, of Proctorville, and Thomas Allen, of Huntington, W.Va., each pleaded guilty to robbery and received four years and six years in prison, respectively.

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Lewis reportedly “cased out” the game room before Allen brandished a weapon and robbed it. She also drove the suspects away from the scene, leading police on a chase into West Virginia that reached speeds of 80 miles per hour. Belcher was the lookout during the robbery.

Lewis denied that she knew of the plans to rob the business, saying the men told her they were going in to use the restroom. In her appeal, she also claimed that she fled from police because Allen threatened her.

Lewis filed her appeal hoping to get her sentence reduced claiming “the jury’s verdict was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence” and “ineffective assistance of counsel prejudiced the defense.” The court denied both claims.