Homeless man pleads innocent to robbing Hampton Inn

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WALLA WALLA - A man accused of robbing the Hampton Inn at gunpoint earlier this month was arraigned Monday in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Gary L. Stevens, 52, pleaded innocent to charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. His trial is scheduled to begin May 18.

Police said Stevens - who is homeless - entered the hotel at 1531 Kelly Place with a handgun about 8:30 p.m. March 6 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. Stevens is not permitted to have a gun because he is a convicted felon.

Officers arrested him March 8 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 he intended to get shot by an officer afterward and doesn't want to go on living.

He was booked into the County Jail. Bail was set at $50,000.

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