Two pharmacy robbers who pleaded guilty in court today likely will get starkly different sentences.
The difference in the cases of Lance W. Shaw, 27, and Jeremy M. Mace, 23, comes down to who used a weapon and who didn't.
Shaw was sentenced to nine months in jail and 12 months probation after pleading guilty to an amended charge of second-degree robbery. Mace pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and will be sentenced in January. A plea agreement calls for him to serve 31 months in prison and 18 months probation.
Mace was arrested April 29 after a knife-point methadone robbery at Rite Aid on North Division Street. A woman saw him running through the parking lot and followed him in her car as she called 911. (Read more here.)
Shaw was arrested June 22 after he called 911 from a pay phone near the Walgreens at Division and Empire and said a man was holding a baby at gunpoint on East Mission Avenue and demanding crack cocaine. Police arrested him as he walked out of the pharmacy with OxyContin.
Though Shaw told clerks he had a gun, he never displayed a weapon, leading to his lesser charge. He's to report to Spokane County Jail by Dec. 5.
Mace will be sentenced in January. A plea deal asks for 31 months in prison and drops a weapons enhancement for the first-degree robbery charge.
Shaw had taken 100 mg of Prozac the night before the robbery, his lawyer said, about 50 times his prescribed dosage.
A father of a 3-year-old boy, Shaw told Judge Tari Eitzen he used to be a machinist and doesn't think he'll have a problem getting a job. He's going to addiction counseling and said his OxyContin addiction "started as casual use which quickly escalated."
Shaw apologized to clerks during the robbery and said he didn't care if he got caught because he needed addiction treatment, according to court documents.
Mace told Eitzen he doesn't go to school, doesn't have a job, and has one child with another on the way.
His girlfriend cried in the courtroom as he fought back tears at the defendant's table.
"This doesn't have to be the end of your life; you can get through this," Eitzen said.
She commended Mace for having "the sense not to bring your little child into court."
Both Mace and Shaw are out of jail on bond.