Teen, 16, pleads guilty to robbery
Five-year prison sentence handed down after youth certified as adult

Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Dec. 3, 2004 -- The 16-year-old Sulphur Springs teen who confessed to the Sept. 16 aggravated robbery of a clerk at Joe Bob's store was sentenced to 5 years in prison Thursday afternoon.

The sentence was part of a plea agreement and came after Joshua Luke Flanagan was certified to stand trial as an adult for the felony offense.

During a hearing Thursday, Hopkins County Attorney Dusty Rabe presented evidence by which the teen was found to meet the standards under which juveniles can be tried as adults.

According to Rabe, those standards included the fact that the case involved a felony, that he was over 15 years of age at the time of the offense, that evidence was sufficient to indicate he committed the offense, as well as his background and the circumstances surrounding the offense.

The court upheld Rabe's request, certifying Flanagan to judicial proceedings as an adult in the Eighth Judicial District Court.

"This was a premeditated crime against a person, instead of just property," Rabe said Friday morning. "He confessed to it. He was a juvenile and met the criteria and was certified as an adult."

In agreement with the county and district attorney's offices, Flanagan pled guilty to the first-degree felony offense of aggravated robbery in exchange for a 5-year prison sentence.

"I think this sends a joint message from the county attorney's office and the DA's office that, even at 16, if you are going to be committing a first-degree felony, you are going to be doing [penitentiary] time," Rabe said.

Flanagan was convicted of robbing the clerk at gunpoint Thursday, Sept. 16, taking an undetermined amount of funds in checks and cash before fleeing the Church Street store.

A tip to Sulphur Springs Crime Stoppers implicated Flanagan and a 15-year-old girl in the robbery. The pair was brought in for questioning and admitted to their involvement in the robbery, including spending the stolen funds on personal items.

The 15-year-old girl was tried as a juvenile and received probation.

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