Woman sentenced in robbery at man's home

Katie A. Waite pleaded guilty to robbery and drug charges in connection with a June robbery.

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WALLA WALLA -- A woman was sentenced and a man pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court in connection with a robbery at a local home in June.

Katie A. Waite -- who earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery -- was sentenced to 10 months in the County Jail. She also had pleaded guilty to an additional felony, possessing methamphetamine, and a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia in connection with the case.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Donald W. Schacht went along with a prosecution recommendation. Waite faced a standard-range sentence of six months to a year for her crimes.

Schacht gave Waite credit for the 59 days she'd already served and placed her on a year of community custody, a form of probation, when she's released.

Meanwhile, co-defendant John T. Owen, 18, entered a guilty plea to a gross-misdemeanor charge of third-degree theft. He had been charged with first-degree robbery, a felony, but that was reduced in a plea agreement because an initial police report was incorrect. Officials had said that Owen brandished a knife during the robbery, but it turned out that Waite actually is the suspect who was armed.

The prosecution is recommending that Owen -- who has been released from jail on bail -- be given credit for the time he served and any additional jail time be suspended when he is sentenced later.

Officials said Owen and Waite, 21, both of 511 Chase Ave., went to the home of Bruce Williams, 2252 Garrison St., about 7 a.m. on June 5. Williams reportedly had met them four days earlier through a mutual friend.

Williams told police that Waite left the living room to go to the bathroom. When she didn't return in a timely fashion, Williams briefly left the room to check on her and discovered Owen handling his wallet when he returned. "Williams grabbed his wallet from Owen and said Owen was trying to keep the wallet from him," according to a police report filed in court.

Then Williams was distracted by Waite, who had returned to the room, and Owen grabbed Williams' mini laptop computer. Waite brandished a knife before both suspects ran out of the residence and left in a vehicle.

A witness provided the vehicle's license number and Owen and Waite were pulled over at Ninth Avenue and Poplar Street. A mini laptop was located in the vehicle. Also, police found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in a bag among Waite's possessions.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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