Teenager pleads guilty, sentenced for Sterling robbery

Published 11:19 am Monday, August 9, 2010

Seventeen-year-old Spenser Thomas Knight of Alden pleaded guilty in Freeborn County District Court on Monday to first-degree aggravated robbery of the Sterling Drug pharmacy in June.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab ordered that Knight be committed to the Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections for placement at an extended juvenile jurisdiction program in Red Wing. This program is available to rehabilitate juveniles who commit relatively serious crimes but who otherwise had no prior criminal history.

Schwab also sentenced Knight to a stayed sentence of 48 months in prison.

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This means if Knight violates the rules of the juvenile disposition, he will be required to serve the adult sentence. Otherwise, he will be eligible for programming offered by the state.

He will be under the court’s jurisdiction until he is 21.

According to court files, Knight forced his way through the back door of Sterling Drug, 148 S. Broadway Ave., first asking for a bathroom, and then putting a knife to the throat of a pharmacist and requesting Oxycontin.

The incident occurred over the noon hour on June 21.

He was given a bottle that contained 30 tablets of 15 mg of the narcotic drug and then fled through the back door. The Oxycontin was valued at about $114.

According to the report, employees who were behind the pharmacy counter told police they had seen the young man in the store earlier that day. The store manager retrieved video and still images from the store camera system and provided them to a detective, who in turn provided them to the media.

Police received numerous phone calls from the public stating that the suspect pictured was Knight. He turned himself in to police a few days later.