Crime

He could get life in prison for taking a jar of pot while armed with a knife, charges say

The robber was armed with a knife and carrying the jar of marijuana he'd stolen from a Fife shop. The victim, a worker at the store, was wielding a brick.

"I'm not going to give it up," the suspect reportedly said.

But he did in the end, according to court records.

And if convicted as charged, it looks as if he'll get life in prison without parole.

Charging papers give this account:

The 31-year-old man asked to look at a jar of pot Monday at Commencement Bay Cannabis, at 5402 Pacific Highway E. The worker handed it to him, and the man ran away with it.

The worker gave chase until the man showed a knife and declared he would not surrender the pot.

Then he put the knife away, and fled again, with the victim again chasing him.

The man stopped a second time, and again flashed the blade and told the worker he wasn't going to get the marijuana back.

That's when the worker armed himself with a brick.

Exhausted from running, and hearing police sirens nearby, the man relented and gave back the pot.

Police arrived and arrested the man. On Tuesday, he was charged with first-degree robbery, to which he pleaded not guilty at arraignment.

Court records show he has prior convictions for attempted second-degree assault, second-degree robbery and third-degree assault.

The first two count under Washington's "three strikes law," which means a conviction for first-degree robbery would count as his third strike and mean a sentence of life in prison without parole.

The jar of pot was worth $260.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell
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