Ellis, Geddis sentenced in Capawock robbery
Expressing outrage at a crime he labeled violent and cowardly, Associate Justice Cornelius J. Moriarty II sentenced Michael Ellis, 21, to two years in the Barnstable County House of Correction and Brett Geddis, 18, to one year in the Dukes County House of Correction.
The sentencing hearing took place April 30, at Dukes County Superior Court in Edgartown. On April 6, the two men pled guilty to reduced charges in connection with a robbery last September of George Buckley, 79, a ticket taker at the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven.
Mr. Ellis and Mr. Geddis admitted in Dukes County Superior Court that they assaulted Mr. Buckley and stole almost $500 in theater receipts from him, as he was on his way to a bank night deposit box on Main Street, at about 8:30 pm last September 30.
Although Mr. Buckley fell when one of the men pushed him, he was not injured. In fact, the former police officer and school crossing guard, who has artificial joints in both knees and one hip, tried to give chase to his assailants up Church Street.
At last week's sentencing hearing, Judge Moriarty angrily rebuked both defendants, telling Mr. Ellis it was cowardly "to sneak up on an unarmed elderly man with an accomplice."
In remarks to Mr. Geddis a few minutes later, the judge added, "This was a cowardly crime, sir, a crime of violence that affected not only Mr. Buckley, but the community as a whole, because it makes them feel less safe."
Mr. Ellis and Mr. Geddis originally were indicted on charges of unarmed robbery of a person over 60, and assault and battery. The maximum sentence for unarmed robbery is life in prison.
The two men pled guilty on April 6 to a reduced charge of larceny of a person over 60, as well as assault and battery. Those crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Their guilty pleas were the result of an agreement between their defense attorneys and assistant district attorney Laura Marshard, who said after considering the facts of the case, the reduced charge of larceny was reasonable and appropriate.