Holdup gets teen house arrest

The Baltimore Sun

An Anne Arundel County teenager who held up a Severn fast-food restaurant at gunpoint -- and left behind his cell phone -- was sentenced yesterday to a year of house arrest.

Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer M. Alexander had requested 18 months of jail time for Michael Steven Williams, 19, of the 1500 block of Provincial Lane in Severn for the Oct. 27 robbery of Wings, Things & Pizza.

Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II sentenced Williams, a Meade High School senior who netted about $270 in the theft, to a five-year sentence with all but one year suspended. County authorities will electronically monitor him during his house arrest.

Williams entered an Alford plea to the armed-robbery charge, denying guilt but conceding that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him.

Williams' attorney, John H. Robinson III, had argued for no jail time.

"It was a circumstantial case," Robinson said. "They had fingerprints that didn't match my client's. They had a footprint that didn't match my client's shoes."

According to prosecutors, Williams entered the restaurant about 9 p.m., brandishing a gun.

Mohammad Khan, an owner of the restaurant, said the robber jumped over the counter and then fell.

"He lost his balance," Khan said yesterday. "His phone came out of his pocket, and his phone fell on the floor. As soon as he got his balance, he asked for some money."

The cell phone contained photos of Williams as well as one of a gun lying on a black-and-white bandana.

Restaurant employees identified the weapon as the one used in the robbery. The gun was never recovered.

Robinson said his client was at a nearby gas station with two other people at the time of the robbery.

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