The Star-News


Game store robber gets decades-long sentence

Sat, Oct 30 2010 12:00 PM Posted By: Neal Putnam

A 25-year prison sentence was handed down on Oct. 19 to a National City man who admitted to robbing seven people at gunpoint at four stores and was ordered to pay $93,302.87 in restitution.

There were 18 family members and friends who appeared for Joshua Lee Stevenson, 27, and a woman burst into tears as San Diego Superior Court Judge Frank Brown explained why he was issuing such a long sentence.

The prosecutor recommended a 41-year term, while the probation department suggested Stevenson get 27 years. Stevenson's own lawyer, Frank Ragen II, asked for 20 years. When Stevenson pleaded guilty on Aug. 11 to robbing seven people at four stores, Brown promised him he would not give him more than 25 years.

Stevenson and another thief robbed the Game Stop on H Street in Chula Vista on June 17, 2009.

Stevenson and the other man scooped up video games, game unit, and cash. They also hit two other Game Stop stores in San Diego and a Radio Shack store in La Jolla, all within a month.

Ragen told the judge his client had no record, was married with one child and his wife had just delivered a baby.

"This occurred in a one-month time. He was trying to buy the necessities of life," said Ragen. "People were scared, but no one was injured."

Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said it was Stevenson who poked a gun into the sides of his victims and it was "terrifying" to them.

"I'm sympathetic about a young man going to prison, and there is collateral damage," said Brown, referring to family members. "These are serious, serious charges. I've cut it down to 25 years. I'm not going to go any lower."

Brown ordered him to pay a total restitution amount of $93,302.87 plus a $5,210 fine.

Stevenson was given credit for spending 281 days in jail since his Feb. 10 arrest.

Stevenson's identity was known to police because he left fingerprints behind at one store.

The other robber with him was never identified.


© 2009 The Star-News