Man gets 25 years in armed robbery, other charges
A 25-year-old Fountain man convicted of multiple counts for his role in a 2013 armed robbery at a Grand Junction Burger King has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison by a Mesa County district judge.
Deone Tyrone Patterson was convicted in June of counts of several aggravated robbery, menacing, kidnapping and theft after a jury determined that, in March 2013, he donned a mask, entered the Burger King on North Avenue through a back door, herded store employees into a freezer and demanded cash, all while wielding a handgun.
Patterson, who was 22 at the time, was later arrested holding a bag of cash and wearing clothes matching the robber’s description, according to earlier reports.
Mesa County District Judge Valerie Robison’s decision Wednesday to sentence Patterson to 25 years fell short of the 48-year prison sentence requested by prosecutors.
Prosecutor Jennifer Springer said that Patterson was a talented person who, at one time, had a bright future.
“This is an individual who had a great deal of promise …,” Springer said. “Mr. Patterson had athletic ability, intelligence, drive. … Unfortunately, Mr. Patterson used those abilities to commit a crime.”
Defense attorneys asked for a 20-year sentence, which Grand Junction attorney Matt Daymon said was the minimum sentence allowed under statute. Daymon said that, while Patterson has remained adamant that he didn’t commit the robbery, the low amount of cash involved “is not worth 48 years of a man’s life.”
Daymon also said, even though two assessments have found Patterson competent in the past, he has some concerns about Patterson’s mental health because of problems with his memory.
Several people spoke on Patterson’s behalf before sentencing, including his uncle, Jerome Patterson.
“He has a very, very good heart,” said Jerome Patterson, who spoke to the court by phone from his home on the Front Range. “He just made a mistake. … It’s a bad time in his life right now.”
A former Mesa County sheriff’s deputy who knew Patterson from a later job as a bouncer wrote a letter to the court, saying that Patterson “deserves leniency and a second chance.”
Robison told Patterson that he might end up serving much less time than the combined 25-year sentence she imposed.
“There is no doubt in my mind that you are a highly intelligent young man,” Robison said. “You have a lot going for you, and I hope you hang onto that.”