Pine Tree Carryout robber snags eight year prison sentence

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

He packed a pistol and packed away the Pine Tree Carryout’s cash register. For this he will spend the next eight years packed away in a prison cell.

Daniel K. Stapleton, 31, of 582 Township Road 343, Ironton, pleaded guilty in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to one count of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification and one count of tampering with evidence.

He is accused of holding up the Pine Tree Carryout on State Route 93 in August.

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“The defendant came in and took the cash register at gunpoint,” Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., explained.

“I’m sorry for doing it,” Stapleton told Judge Charles Cooper.

Cooper sentenced him to five years for the robbery and imposed a state-mandated three years because Stapleton used a gun to commit the crimes.

Stapleton will get a brief furlough before being sent to prison. This will allow him to be present when his child is born.

Until he reports to jail he is under house arrest with a $50,000 own recognizance bond.

On Aug. 11, a cashier at the carryout told police a man with a red and white mask around his eyes came into the store, demanded money, shoved her and put a gun to her face.

Stapleton then grabbed the cash register and ran out of the door. A witness identified Stapleton as the suspect.

Stapleton was charged with tampering with evidence because he threw the cash register in a pond in Wheelersburg shortly after the holdup.

Also Wednesday, an Ironton area woman pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated assault in connection with the stabbing of her then-boyfriend, Timothy Mckenzie, on Aug. 16.

Diana L. Murray, 50, of 2040 County Road 6, was initially charged with felonious assault. The amended charge states Murray was “under the influence of passion or rage brought on by provocation.”

Cooper sentenced her to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation.

As part of her sentence, Murray must continue with drug and alcohol counseling as needed and stay away from her victim.

“I think this is a just resolution considering all the facts and circumstances of the case,” Murray’s attorney, Philip Heald said on her behalf.