Updated: December 21, 2012 12:16AM
Teen gets 12 years for two robberies
Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray sentenced an East Chicago man to 12 years in prison for two armed robberies.
Alex Fortunato Mancias, 19, was caught on surveillance video robing a clerk at La Chiquita Uno, 1201 W. 149th St., East Chicago. The clerk was so frightened she began shaking and fell to the floor after Mancias pointed a gun at her and demanded the money. The robbery occurred Nov. 14, 2011.
Mancias also admitted on Nov. 25, 2011, he robbed the Mr. Food grocery store at 4401 Indianapolis Blvd., East Chicago at gunpoint. Mancias also admitted he robbed Mr. Food on Dec. 1, 2011, of cash and cigarettes.
Prosecutors agreed not to file charges against Mancias for a July 30 robbery of Mr. Food. The .45-caliber revolver confiscated by Indiana State Excise Police on Dec. 2, 2011, will be destroyed.
Mancias told the judge he has been attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, which are helping him turn around his life. Mancias asked that he serve his sentence in Lake County Community Corrections, which the judge flatly denied.
First drive-by shooter pleads
An 18-year-old Lowell man was sentenced to two years for criminal recklessness in what was termed Lowell’s first drive-by shooting.
Benjamin Ramirez admitted he fired a 20-gauge shotgun at an occupied home on March 7 in the 500 block of Indiana Avenue after he and his co-defendant were involved in an ongoing dispute with one of the victims.
Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez ordered one year served in prison, followed by one year in Lake County Community Corrections for each of three counts of criminal recklessness.
Having drugs earns woman 2 years’ jail
Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez sentenced a Lake Station woman to two years in prison for possession of a controlled substance.
Shannan Cornelius, 25, admitted she had three hydrocodone pills in her possession on Oct. 31, 2011, when police, acting on information from a confidential informant, followed Cornelius from a gas station to her home on Vanderburg Street, then to a home in Gary before she returned to the gas station, where she met with the informant.
The gas station was across the street from Joel Mock Park, where four children were playing at the time.
Defense attorney Edward Wartman argued that Cornelius had just three pills in her possession and sought leniency in light of her two young children.
Deputy prosecutor Michael Woods argued for prison time in light of Cornelius being charged in Porter County with stealing a bra from Wal-Mart while she was on bond.
“If you had your children in mind when you possessed these drugs you wouldn’t be in this position,” Vasquez said.
Man accused of sex with 13-year-old
A Hammond man has been charged in Lake Superior Court with child molesting involving a 13-year-old girl.
Zachary Taylor Doyle, 21, of the 4200 block of Dearborn Avenue, is accused of having sex with the girl and with fondling her after furnishing her and her friend with alcohol on Sept. 2 at his brother’s apartment in the 4000 block of Cameron Avenue, Hammond.
The girl and her friend told police the liquor made her drunk.
The charges are punishable by a maximum 50-year sentence. Doyle is being held without bail until Jan. 7, when he can post $75,000 surety, or $7,500 cash.
Highland, St. John
Used fake gift checks at Target
A Chicago woman was placed on probation for 18 months for two counts of counterfeiting and ordered to pay $1,200 in restitution to the victims.
Crystalyn A. Ewing, 36, admitted she schemed with another individual to obtain property that belonged to the Target in Highland by presenting bogus American Express Gift Cheques to purchase a comforter and sheets on Jan. 11, 2011.
Ewing also presented four counterfeit American Express Gift Checks on the same day at the Target in St. John to purchase items.