Guilty plea given in armed robbery case

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The 24-year-old Austin man arrested in connection with an armed robbery on South Washington Avenue last July pleaded guilty on Monday in Freeborn County District Court to first-degree burglary as part of a plea agreement in the case.

Hiram Abel Rodriguez-Reyes pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree burglary in exchange for having five other counts against him dismissed.

He was initially charged with one count of aggravated robbery, three counts of first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree assault.

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Court records state on July 16, 2009, Rodriguez-Reyes accompanied Joshua Quincy Hill of Albert Lea to 709 S. Washington Ave., at which time Hill forced his way into the apartment and pointed a gun at a woman and man and requested their money.

Rodriguez-Reyes reportedly took a baseball bat from the woman — who was swinging it to protect her brother — and hit her TV with it and broke the bat. After he did that, he picked up the pieces of the bat and left.

The two men fled in a Chevy Malibu — Rodriguez-Reyes was reportedly the driver — however, when an officer did a U-turn to pull up behind the vehicle, Rodriguez-Reyes pulled over the car, got out of the car and ran, according to reports.

Rodriguez-Reyes reportedly escaped authorities after the robbery but was arrested March 26.

Hill attempted to run also but was ordered to the ground and arrested. He pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary in February and was sentenced in May to 78 months in prison for the incident.

Fleeing police

As part of the plea agreement, Rodriguez-Reyes also pleaded guilty to one count of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle in what is a separate case from May 2009. His other charges from that incident will be dismissed, according to the plea agreement.

Initial charges included drunken driving, reckless driving, driving after suspension and speeding.

The charges stem from just after 6:30 a.m. May 17, 2009, when Rodriguez-Reyes allegedly was involved with a high-speed chase with an Albert Lea police officer, going as fast as 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, according to court records.

The chase ended when he reportedly lost control of the vehicle while attempting to make a turn and struck a utility pole.

He then got out of the car and ran until the officer caught up with him, shocked him with a Taser and then arrested him.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on both cases Sept. 27.