Public Safety

14-year-old pleads to lesser charge in armed robbery of Cedar Rapids liquor and tobacco store

His sentencing is delayed under youthful offender status

CEDAR RAPIDS — A 14-year-old Ely boy pleaded guilty to lesser charge in adult court Wednesday in an armed robbery of a liquor and tobacco store last September.

Treyton Spies, originally charged with first-degree robbery, pleaded to second-degree robbery.

Spies pointed a loaded handgun at a cashier Sept. 30 at the Point Liquor and Tobacco Store, 3221 Center Point Rd. NE, while demanding she give him money from the register, according to a criminal complaint.

Spies admitted to investigators he planned the robbery with an accomplice, Dekheary V. Steele, 28, of Chicago, Ill., and was armed with a loaded Springfield XD 9 mm handgun, according to court records.

Spies fled from the store in a vehicle Steele was driving, the complaint states.

A judge previously moved the Spies’ case from juvenile court to district court because it was a violent crime involving a weapon.

Because of Spies’ age, 6th Judicial District Judge Ian Thornhill accepted the plea agreement as a youthful offender prosecution.

Thornhill will send Spies back to juvenile court, and a judge will determine which juvenile facility to send him to for treatment until he is 18.

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At that time, Spies will return to district court, where a judge will sentence him to the 10-year prison term, give him probation or discharge him for time served.

The judge’s decision will be based on how well the teen progresses at the juvenile facility and any treatment.

In October, Assistant Linn County Attorney Kelly Kaufman asked the court in a motion to transfer the case to adult court based on the “high degree of violence” in the robbery and because it was committed against a person, a weapon was used and the offense was “willful and premeditated.”

Kaufman’s motion stated Spies is a “mature” individual who lives independently and isn’t under the supervision of his parents or any adult.

The teen had had earlier convictions in juvenile court and has received the maximum rehabilitation available, according to the motion.

The complaint shows Steele admitted to planning and committing the robbery with the teen. He also said he acted as the getaway driver.

Steele is charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and carrying weapons.

Judge Mitchell Turner lowered Steele’s $50,000 cash only bail to $35,000 cash or surety and allowed him to pay 10 percent. Steele paid $3,500 bail and was released in November pending trial. No trial date is set at this time.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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