Man gets two years for Basalt robbery |

Man gets two years for Basalt robbery

EAGLE, Colo. – A man who was convicted on two felony charges connected to the robbery last winter of a grocery store where he once worked was sentenced Thursday to two years in a Colorado prison.

Jonas Leon Jr., who is known as “Junior,” pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and felony menacing in April. Charges of aggravated robbery and theft were dropped. He robbed Clark’s Market in Basalt on Jan. 24.

Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert’s office sought a five-year prison sentence for Leon while his public defender argued for probation. Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett handed down a sentence of two years, which was on the low end of the presumptive range of two to six years for felony menacing, the more severe charge, according to Hurlbert.

“Certainly we asked for more time,” Hurlbert said. The robbery was a “serious crime” that involved a gun, he said, and therefore called for more prison time.

Gannett gave Leon credit for 130 days he has already been incarcerated since his arrest. Leon apologized in court to the people his crime affected and told the judge he was willing to take responsibility for his actions, according to a registry of court actions. Members of his family spoke in his defense.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has determined Leon is in the country illegally. Hurlbert said Leon will be deported after he serves his prison sentence. Since he has been convicted of a felony, he would be guilty of a felony for re-entering and being present in the country, Hurlbert said.

Basalt police said Leon entered Clark’s Market at 8:44 p.m. on Jan. 24 with a beanie on his head and a yellow scarf over his face to conceal his identity. He approached a cashier and demanded money. The cashier told police she initially didn’t take the robbery seriously because she recognized Leon. Then he came around the counter, pointed a .38-caliber handgun at her and demanded money. She complied.

There were three other employees in the store at the time. Two of them witnessed the robbery and also identified Leon, police said. The robber worked at the supermarket less than two years before the robbery, the investigation showed.

Leon fled through the market’s front door. The employees called police and provided them with Leon’s identity and his address on Homestead Drive, just a couple blocks uphill from Clark’s. Leon was arrested within 16 minutes of the report, Basalt police said.

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