Nick A. Hawkins, described by his attorney as a troubled young man, who admitted to robbing the Five Star Bank branch in Pavilion on Oct. 13, is going to state prison.
Judge Robert Noonan imposed a sentence of two to six years this morning, though he could not order Hawkins repay the $443 dollars he received from a teller after handing her a note because Five Star Bank did not request restitution.
Hawkins, dressed in orange jail garb, was a little tearful when he expressed regret for his crimes.
"I'd like to apologize for all the trouble I’ve caused every one," Hawkins said, pausing to wipe a tear from his face. "I know that doesn’t change it, but I d’ like a chance to make it right. That’s all."
Noonan also sentenced Hawkins on his burglary conviction, stemming from a crime he committed at Frost Ridge Campground in 2001. That one-and-a third- to four-year sentence will be served concurrently with his robbery sentence.
Hawkins had a plea agreement that would have allowed the burglary conviction to be treated as a youthful offender case. But since the plea, the court discovered he had a previous youthful offender adjudication for a felony conviction in another county. That made him ineligible for youthful-offender status this time. Hawkins could have withdrawn his guilty plea, but did not.
Public Defender Gary Horton asked Judge Noonan for some leniency, describing Hawkins as a "tortured individual" who has struggled with a number of issues in his life.
"He realizes the seriousness of the offenses," Horton said. "He realizes the seriousness as much as anybody in this courtroom and I know he’s remorseful for any pain he has caused others. I don’t think this is an individual who should be given up on or thrown away at this time. I fear the kind of individual he will be several years from now when returned to our community."
Noonan said he felt compelled to send Hawkins to prison.
"Reading about family, your mental health, your drug addiction, the loss of your brother, these are all troubling things," Noonan said. "It’s a very sad story, no question about that. But as you stand here before me, I have to balance the trouble you've gone through with the needs of society. You need to be in prison. You’ve demonstrated you cannot abide by laws in a free society and you cannot control yourself and you committed crimes that are very troublesome."