BROOKSVILLE — A Spring Hill teenager suspected of being a gang leader received 10 years in prison Thursday for his role in two February robberies.
Jared Noonan, 17, pleaded no contest to charges of robbery with a deadly weapon, strong arm robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon and battery. He was sentenced as an adult because he was on probation for two burglaries at the time of his arrest.
Noonan had faced more serious charges, but a plea agreement with prosecutors to settle the case spared him a tougher punishment.
According to police reports, Noonan served as a lookout and supplied the .22-caliber handgun used in the Feb. 7 armed robbery of Discount Tobacco on Spring Hill Drive. He and three other teenagers, whose cases are still pending, split the $300 stolen from the clerk, authorities say.
Noonan played the same role in a Feb. 4 armed robbery of a woman on Pinehurst Drive, reports say. He originally intended to sell the woman narcotics, but he and a co-defendant decided to rob her at gunpoint instead, and Noonan received about $100 of the $1,800 stolen, authorities say.
Robber gets 4 years for Spring Hill thefts
A pair of early morning robberies cost a 36-year-old Spring Hill man four years in prison Thursday.
Leo Johnson III pleaded no contest to charges of burglary and principal to strong arm robbery for his involvement in two incidents on Jan. 17. About 3 a.m., according to court documents, Johnson and two others assaulted a clerk and stole a safe containing $125 from the Hampton Inn on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill.
The men were accused of forcing their way into a Spring Hill home just a couple of hours later, pistol-whipping Darrell Charles, 22, and taking about $600 in cash that the victim said was his rent money.
Hernando County deputies conducted an intensive search in several Spring Hill neighborhoods after the thefts.
Johnson, who was on probation stemming from numerous drug and weapons charges at the time of his arrest, could have faced more than 15 years in prison, but prosecutors offered him less prison time because he cooperated with the investigation.
Osvaldo Rojas one of the other men, received 41/2 years in prison in May. The case of co-defendant Michael Cardon is still pending.
John Frank can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 754-6114.