Taylor Mespelt

Taylor Mespelt

An Albany teen pleaded no contest Wednesday morning in Linn County Circuit Court to attempted first-degree robbery for a mid-July incident in which he pulled a knife on a resident while trying to steal bags of pop cans.

Taylor Mespelt, 18, also pleaded no contest to crimes from two other separate cases, first-degree theft and unlawful entry of a motor vehicle.

He was sentenced to 40 days in the custody of the Linn County Supervisory Authority, with credit for time served and 36 months of supervised probation. Four other charges, including a separate trespassing case, were dismissed as part of the negotiated settlement.

Mespelt, who has no prior criminal history, told Judge David Delsman he’s learned his lesson and probation would keep him on track.

“You’ve used up all your second chances, so the next time around it’s a prison sentence,” Delsman responded.

Defense attorney Michael Lowry said that he felt that the case could have been taken to trial, but Mespelt was charged with first-degree robbery — a Measure 11 charge with a mandatory minimum sentence of 7.5 years in prison. The risk was too great, Lowry said.

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Lowry said that Mespelt thought the bags of cans were there for the taking since they were placed outside.

“Mr. Mespelt felt threatened himself. … He was getting out of a threatening situation,” Lowry told Delsman.

The attempted robbery occurred on July 19 at about 3:45 p.m. outside a home in the 1800 block of Queen Avenue Southeast. The victim saw Mespelt stealing his cans, called 911 and confronted the teen. Mespelt threatened to cut the victim if he didn’t let him go.

The first-degree theft occurred on July 12, and involved Mespelt selling a stolen bike.

The unlawful entry of a motor vehicle occurred on July 30, and Mespelt also was accused of stealing cans out of the vehicle.

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Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.