Man sentenced to 12 years in armed robbery near Mall in Columbia

A Columbia man observed by a Howard County Police surveillance team committing an armed robbery near the Mall in Columbia was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday in Howard County Circuit Court, according to State's attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.

Odell Kareme Copeland, 32, of the 5200 block of Eliots Oak Road, pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery on Feb. 22 in connection with the crime, which occurred in September.

According to police, a surveillance team posted in a parking garage near the mall observed two men accost a man near the parking lot of Union Jack's restaurant. The team observed one man point a semiautomatic handgun at the victim's head and chest.

Copeland's accomplice, Pierre Antawn Booth, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Feb. 27 for both armed robbery and a gun charge. Both the prosecution and the defense said Booth brought the loaded gun to the scene, Kirwan said.

According to Kirwan, Judge Timothy J. McCrone admonished Copeland for the crime, and the prosecution said Copeland had "a terrible (criminal) record the past 10 years."

McCrone sentenced Copeland to 20 years in prison, with all but 12 years suspended, Kirwan said. After his release, he will spend five years on supervised probation.

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