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ITHACA, N.Y. — A man’s 2012 robbery conviction was upheld Thursday in court after the defendant challenged whether he should have been convicted as a predicate felony offender.

Robert J. Johnson Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery instead of going to trial on four charges.

According to WBNG Binghamton, on Nov. 15, 2011, Johnson and two other men entered an unlocked back door at Hair Graphics store located in the East Hill Plaza at 320 Pine Tree Road in the Town of Ithaca. The men then robbed several people playing in a card tournament.

According to court documents, Johnson gave up his right to appeal the decision or make other motions when he entered his guilty plea. But tried to backpedal on the terms of the deal directly before sentencing.

Johnson’s appeal addressed whether his three prior felony drug convictions in Pennsylvania could be considered felonies in New York.

His original plea eventually led to him being sentenced to five years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.

The Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled that Johnson could not challenge whether his Pennsylvania felonies were New York felonies because he waived the right to make additional motions when he initially accepted the plea deal.

Featured photo by Brian Turner of Flikr. 

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.