MIAMI COUNTY — The man who held a fake gun to a woman’s neck in the parking lot of the Piqua Walmart on Aug. 29 was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for his actions on Thursday.
Robert Riddle, 35, of Piqua, entered a plea of guilty for first-degree felony aggravated robbery and fifth-degree felony breaking and entering in Miami County Common Pleas Court earlier this month.
Retired Greene County Judge J. Timothy Campbell served as judge due to the victim’s relation to a county court employee. Judge Campbell sentenced Riddle to serve 10 years in prison for aggravated robbery and 12 months for the breaking and entering charge. Judge Campbell ruled to allow the two sentences to run concurrently, considering Riddle did not delay the judicial process in his case. Riddle will receive 55 days of jail credit, is subject to five years post-release control upon his release and must pay all court costs.
Riddle apologized to the city of Piqua and said he realized he made a bad decision and apologized for his actions. Riddle also apologized to the victim during his change of plea hearing.
Prior to sentencing, Judge Campbell said Riddle’s actions are why people are often afraid to go out and he hoped Riddle could benefit from programs while he was incarcerated.
On Aug. 29, Riddle held what was first believed to be a handgun to the victim, 67 year-old Pamela Leugers’ neck, in the parking lot of the Piqua Walmart around 3 p.m. Riddle threatened Leugers to drive him up the highway. Leugers gave Riddle the keys to her car, and they got into a scuffle before Riddle took off on foot into the nearby wooded area. The gun, a BB gun with its safety indicator removed, was later found in the woods.
Riddle also was charged with the breaking and entering of the Willowbook Hunt Club, stealing loose change and a can of pop before returning to his home in the Paris Court mobile home park, where he was apprehended by authorities.
Leugers, who grew up in Piqua and now resides in Tampa, Fla., provided a written statement, which was read by Miami County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness advocate Cheryl Iddings in court. In the statement, Leugers said she can still feel Riddle’s gun against her neck and now looks over her shoulder each time she ventures away from her home.
“I just retired and was looking forward to traveling alone all over country to see friends and family, but now every time I get in my car I still feel that gun in my neck and I hear your hateful words in my ear,” Iddings said on Leugers’ behalf. “I fought back with you that day because I knew I wasn’t going to agree to drive you up that highway and let you hurt me.”
The statement said she hoped Riddle used his incarceration time to get help for his drug addiction.
At Riddle’s change of plea hearing, which Leguers attended, she told Riddle that as a Christian woman, she forgives him for his actions and said she hopes he takes advantage of his time in prison to turn the incident into something positive.