Blaming alcohol abuse on her actions did not save an Akron woman from being sentenced in Portage County Common Pleas Court to six years in prison for robbing a Brimfield skill games parlor at gunpoint in April.
The fact that the gun used in the robbery was a pellet gun also did not gain points with Judge Laurie Pittman, who sentenced Mary Rose Maravola, 34, to the prison term.
"I don't care if it was a pellet gun," Pittman told Maravola, before imposing the sentence Monday. "The victim thought it was real."
Maravola pleaded guilty to robbery, a second-degree felony, on July 29. She faced a maximum of eight years in prison. Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eugene Muldowney said a firearms specification, which could have earned Maravola another three years in prison, was dismissed at the time of her plea because the weapon that was used in the crime was recovered by Brimfield police and found to be a pellet gun.
Pittman fined Maravola $350 plus court costs, ordered her to pay $350 restitution to J.R.'s Goldmine skill games parlor, and ordered Maravola be given credit for 124 days already served in the Portage County jail awaiting trial. She also banned Maravola from having any contact with the business at 3958 S.R. 43.
Maravola, standing next to her attorney, Aaron Schwartz, tearfully read from a statement, telling Pittman that her crime was driven by alcohol abuse and that she was ashamed of herself and regretted her crime.
"I apologize to the victim, to Brimfield Township, the court and my family and friends," she said. "I want to find a way not to let things I've done in the past get in the way of my future."
Maravola walked into the skill games parlor at approximately 6 a.m. on April 23, put the gun to the head of an employee and fled with money. The clerk was not injured, and Maravola turned herself into Brimfield police the next day.
She said she has her GED, went to college, was working two jobs and helping care for her partner's two children when she committed the robbery.
"I am a good person," Maravola added. "I made a horrible mistake."
Pittman told Maravola that her crime was sending her to prison because it was a violent one. "This court needs to send a clear message that violent gun crimes will not be tolerated in this county."
An alleged accomplice, John D. Fallon, 32, also of Akron, was charged with third-degree felony obstructing justice by Brimfield police for allegedly lying to officers about his knowledge of the crime. A hearing, at which Fallon is expected to plead guilty to that or a lesser charge, is scheduled in Judge John Enlow's courtroom on Sept. 17, according to court records. Fallon is free on bond pending that hearing, records show.
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