GREENFIELD — An Indianapolis teen who admitted to trying to steal pills from a local pharmacy, injuring a store employee in the process, will spend three years in prison, a judge decided Wednesday while encouraging the boy to turn his life around.
Deandre Dixon, 17, will serve three years an Indiana Department of Corrections facility and seven years on probation as part of a sentence handed down by Hancock County Superior Court 1 Judge Terry Snow ordered Wednesday.
Dixon was charged as an adult following an attempted robbery of the Greenfield CVS in September. Dixon beat an employee with a bottle of laundry detergent after demanding pills from the store’s pharmacist, according to court records.
Dixon was charged with attempted robbery resulting in bodily injury and conspiracy to commit robbery, both Level 3 felonies. Each charge carried a penalty of three to 16 years.
Dixon pleaded guilty last month, but he chose to leave his sentencing up to the judge rather than accepting a plea agreement from prosecutors.
Snow heard from Dixon’s friends and family members in court Wednesday, who called the defendant a bright young man who made a big mistake.
Snow then handed down a sentence that was less than the maximum penalty.
He also offered the teen some advice, encouraging him to get a GED and a job immediately after his release.
“You’re not done,” Snow said. “You’ve got the ability (to move forward). It’s just whether you want to use it.”
Dixon entered the Greenfield CVS one night in late September and handed a note to the pharmacist that stated he was armed with a weapon and demanded a list of narcotics, court documents state.
When the pharmacist yelled for help, Dixon tried to run from the store, court documents state.
An employee tried to stop Dixon in one of the aisles, and the teen used a container of laundry detergent to assault the man, punching him in the face and beating him before fleeing the store, surveillance videos from inside the store showed.
In court Wednesday, Dixon said he was sorry for his actions. He called the incident “a foolish mistake” and said he regretted his actions immediately after handing the pharmacist the note that night.
“If the employee were here today I would apologize for what I have done,” he said.
Two other Indianapolis teenagers were arrested in connection to the robbery. Rahman Glasco, who was 19 at the time, and Rakim Coleman, who was 17, also were charged with attempted robbery resulting in bodily injury and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Their cases are pending in Hancock County Superior Court 1.
Dixon has a lengthy juvenile criminal history in Marion County that prosecutors pointed to in court as proof the boy should be locked up. Prosecutor Brent Eaton said Dixon had 16 run-ins with police in Marion County before his arrest locally, with at least four of those instances amounting to criminal charges.
But Don Hamilton, Dixon’s defense attorney, told the judge the robbery was the worst charge on Dixon’s record. He painted Dixon as a boy with a rough life who had learned his lesson and wanted to make better choices.
“He is young, and there is so much potential here,” Hamilton said. “I hope we can give him more of a chance.”