Homeless man charged in Hampton Inn robbery

Gary L. Stevens also faces a firearms charge in connection with a Saturday night robbery of the Hampton Inn.

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WALLA WALLA -- A homeless man has been charged with robbing the Hampton Inn at gunpoint last weekend.

Gary L. Stevens, 52, is accused of first-degree robbery. He also is charged with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because he is a convicted felon.

The charges were filed Tuesday in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Police said Stevens entered the hotel at 1531 Kelly Place about 8:30 p.m. Saturday with a handgun and demanded cash from the clerk, who gave Stevens $168.

Stevens then left on foot toward Dalles Military Road near Fort Walla Walla Park, officials said.

The following morning, a male relative of Stevens told officers that Stevens came to his house a few hours earlier and said "he robbed a place the previous night," according to a police report filed in court.

Stevens allegedly gave the relative eight bullets and a pistol, which the relative later determined actually is his and had been missing from where he normally stores it.

Officers arrested Stevens on Monday afternoon in Fort Walla Walla Park on a warrant from Shelton, Wash. In an interview at the police department, Stevens allegedly admitted robbing the hotel, but said the gun wasn't loaded at the time and he never meant to hurt anyone. He said he intended to get shot by an officer after the robbery, the police report says.

"Stevens stated he has messed up his life and does not want to go on living."

The report adds that Stevens said he planned to shoot himself after the robbery, but couldn't do it. He then spent the money at a couple of local taverns and returned the gun to his relative.

Stevens was booked into the County Jail. Bail has been set at $50,000.

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

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