Armed Robbery, Fake Alibi, Rude Gestures Result In 60 Year Sentence
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – The maximum sentence possible is given to a man who shot a store clerk while committing an armed robbery in Lawrenceburg, then allegedly had others lie about his involvement in court.
Gerald Kemper, 39, of Cincinnati, committed the robbery at the Fast Track BP station in June of 2012, shooting the store clerk in the leg as he demanded money.
Kemper took his case to trial in May. Jurors convicted him of Robbery Resulting in Bodily Injury (Class B felony), Robbery While Armed with a Deadly Weapon (Class B felony), Conspiracy to Commit Robbery While Armed with a Deadly Weapon (Class B felony), Aggravated Battery (Class B felony), and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon (Class B felon).
He was in Dearborn Circuit Court once again Monday for sentencing. Judge James D. Humphrey gave him the longest possible sentence: 60 years in prison with no time suspended to probation. Kemper was credited for 430 good times days served behind bars since his arrest last December.
Humphrey cited Kemper’s failed attempt to form a fake alibi in handing down the longest possible sentence. Kemper and three others were charged earlier this month with Perjury and Obstruction of Justice for allegedly concocting a story to place Kemper in Cincinnati and not Lawrenceburg at the time of the robbery.
The judge also admonished Kemper for making obscene gestures at the jurors following the announcement of the verdict at the end of the trial.
“The Court finds it ironic, given these circumstances, that the defendant used his statements in allocution to attack the State, the Court, and the jury for unfairness,” Humphrey stated in his sentencing order. “The defendant was convicted, not out of unfairness on the part of the trial process, but based upon the evidence presented.”
Other aggravating factors were Kemper’s criminal history – he has at least five prior felony convictions – and the nature of the crime. Humphrey said video of the robbery showed Kemper shot the store clerk within a few seconds after confronting him and for no apparent reason.
“The victim made no movement, offered no resistance, and was completely helpless. The defendant made the conscious and vicious decision to shoot (the victim) with a .45 caliber firearm,” Humphrey wrote.
The judge found no mitigating factors to consider in rendering Kemper’s sentence.
Kemper’s getaway driver in the robbery, Malik Abdullah, also of Cincinnati, was released from prison earlier this year after serving part of a three year prison sentence resulting from a plea deal with prosecutors.