Minnesotan receives life for holdup
September 19, 2013
A Minnesota man with 19 felony convictions, who moved to Fallon to attend his father’s funeral, landed a prison sentence Tuesday in District Court.
Robert Logan Berry pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years for one count of a habitual criminal with three prior felonies. He was also convicted of attempt to commit robbery, which carried a sentence of one to 10 years in prison.
The habitual charge’s sentence, though, supercedes the robbery sentence.
Berry, meanwhile, said he moved West several months ago, and after attending services for his father, Berry held up a clerk at the Fox Peak gas station. Under the influence of alcohol and blacked out, Berry waited for patrons to exit the store before he entered.
Once inside, Berry pulled a gun on Danny Luft, the clerk on duty.
“He told the clerk ‘Give me the money or I will kill you,’” Churchill County Chief Deputy District Attorney Lane Mills, told the court.
Luft, according to Mills, pulled a knife and chased Berry outside. During the chase, Luft threw the knife away and subdued Berry, although Luft injured his knee and said he has not been able to work since the attack about three months ago.
“It has cut my financial stability to one-fourth of what it was,” Luft told the court. “I moved here to get away from things like that.”
Mills detailed Berry’s criminal history, which began in Minnesota in the 1980s, as one of a selfish man who has no regard for others. Berry’s record does not include violent offenses but does show 10 burglary, five theft and one escaping from custody convictions.
Berry’s attorney, Paul Drakulich, argued for a sentence of four to 10 years and no time for the habitual charge.
Drakulich said his client suffered from years of alcohol and drug abuse, which was the primary force driving Berry’s criminal nature.
Berry, though, added to Drakulich’s assessment and said he was raised by a criminal family. He said he was drunk every time he committed a crime, but the past 10 years has seen only two convictions.
In other court news —
Leonard George of Fallon appeared Thursday in Justice Court on one count of kidnapping causing substantial bodily harm and one count of battery causing substantial bodily harm.
According to the criminal complaint, on Sept. 12 George seized Faleesiva Perry and forced her into a vehicle with the intent to cause bodily harm. Troy Jordan and Dave Neidert were appointed as public defenders. George (not the FPST tribal chairman) will appear for a status hearing on Thursday and his preliminary hearing is slated for Sept. 27.