Man pleads guilty to motel robbery

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 27, 2006

By Kari Lucin, staff writer

A 21-year-old Albert Lea man pleaded guilty to robbery Friday in Freeborn County District Court Thursday.

Aruan Enrique Campa, 21, faces 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000 for committing an apparent armed robbery with an air pistol that resembled a handgun in February at the Countryside Motel on East Main Street in Albert Lea.

The robbery was unsuccessful. After being threatened by an apparently armed robber, a Countryside Motel employee closed and locked him out and called 911. The robber fled the scene without taking any money.

The employee described the suspect&8217;s clothes as a black sweatshirt, black gloves, a black mask and a bandana.

When Campa was pulled over half a mile from the motel, he was wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt. A black ski mask was found in Campa&8217;s car, and an air pistol, stocking cap and black gloves were found in the road.

Campa did not admit he committed the robbery, but plead guilty pursuant to an Al Ford &8212; meaning he only admitted there was enough evidence against him that he would be found guilty, said County Attorney Craig Nelson.

&8220;People are ornery that way,&8221; Nelson said. &8220;&8216;OK, I know you got all this evidence against me, and this is the evidence you&8217;re going to use, and barring the end of the earth and the world as we know it, I will in fact be found guilty.&8217; That&8217;s basically what an Al Ford plea is.&8221;

Campa would ordinarily go to prison, but because he pleaded guilty, he may be allowed to go into the Teen Challenge Program, a faith-based program out of Minneapolis that focuses on serious chemical dependency problems.

&8220;So he wanted to enter this program,&8221; Nelson said. &8220;It is a program that many people are not allowed into, and I don&8217;t know if he would enter it or not. They want that option here. If he does not enter the program, he would go to prison.&8221;

Campa will return to court for sentencing Nov. 2. If he had been found guilty of the original charges of first-degree aggravated robbery, he would have faced 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.