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COLUMBUS — A 30-year-old Columbus woman was sentenced Friday to eight to 14 years in prison for the armed robbery of a downtown bar that left a bartender shaken by the threat of being shot if she didn’t cooperate.

“It was a violent crime in which you entered the bar, racked the slide on a gun and committed an armed robbery,” Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke told Malinda Honea while sentencing her for use of a firearm to commit a felony.

“You told the bartender you would kill her if you had to,” Steinke told the divorced mother of four children who stole more than $600 from a cash register inside Avenue Bar during the Aug. 16 robbery.

The charge is a Class 1C felony, punishable by up to 50 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of five years behind bars. The judge gave Honea credit for 140 days served in jail since her arrest in August.

Steinke said outstanding arrest warrants for Honea remain in Saline, Lancaster and Richardson counties. Colorado corrections officials are also seeking the former Colorado resident for absconding from parole for a 2008 conviction.

Honea was paroled from prison in Colorado after serving a 2008-13 sentence for a motor vehicle theft conviction.

Also during Friday’s proceedings, Steinke sentenced Honea’s accomplice in the robbery, 22-year-old Devin Piper of Columbus, to six to 10 years in prison for his role in the robbery.

The city man pleaded guilty in November to preceding Honea into the bar to case the situation before leaving to get behind the wheel of a waiting getaway car.

Piper was convicted of aiding and abetting an armed robbery, a Class 2A felony that carried a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. He was also given credit for 140 days already served in jail.

The judge imposed the sentence after citing Piper's lengthy criminal history involving juvenile and adult offenses, including six adult convictions for assault, forgery and several theft-related crimes.

A presentence investigation revealed Piper was addicted to methamphetamine at the time of the robbery and indicated the defendant supported himself from June until his August arrest by dealing drugs, the judge said.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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