BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County judge this morning sentenced a 19-year-old Spring Hill man to 30 years in prison.
A jury convicted Jaime Angel Marquez in January for the August armed robbery of a teenage couple atop the observation tower in Hernando Beach.
At the time of the incident, Marquez was on house arrest for another armed robbery.
Assistant State Attorney Don Barbee and a state corrections officer recommended that Marquez receive a life sentence.
"Mr. Marquez was given the opportunity to straighten his life out," the prosecutor said. "He failed to do that."
But Marquez made a tearful last-minute plea.
"I'm not a bad person," he said. "I just got mixed up in bad things."
Circuit Judge Stephen Rushing said he felt for both families in the case. "The sentence has to look at many things, but part of this is to protect the community," he said.
Rushing gave Marquez 20 years in prison for the robbery and 10 additional years for violating his house arrest.
For more details from the courtroom, check back for updates or read tomorrow's Hernando Times.