BELTON — A Killeen man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday after his guilty plea in connection with a July 2014 armed robbery.
Phillip Lumar Lowe, 27, was indicted July 23, 2014, on a charge of aggravated robbery.
According to an arrest affidavit, police responded to the 3100 block of East Stan Schlueter Loop after the victim told officers she had been robbed at knife-point.
When police arrived, they found the victim, who “was extremely upset and was observed to be crying hysterically and visibly shaking,” the affidavit said.
“The victim advised that she drove her 2011 Toyota 4 Runner motor vehicle to the Dollar General to purchase laundry supplies and as she parked and was exiting her vehicle, a man approached her with a knife and forced her back into her vehicle and climbed over the victim into the passenger seat,” the affidavit said.
It was then, police said, that Lowe ordered the woman to drive. But the victim was having none of it and ran. That’s when police said Lowe jumped into the driver’s seat and sped away.
“The victim thoroughly described the armed robber and described the knife he threatened her with during the robbery,” according to the affidavit.
Also taken were the victim’s wallet, personal items and cellphone, the latter of which police used to track Lowe to a location in Copperas Cove.
“The victim’s vehicle was located in Copperas Cove and was observed to be occupied by a man fitting the description of the armed robber,” the affidavit said. “When Copperas Cove police went to detain the man, he fought with the police and fled on foot.”
Lowe later was captured and jailed.
When he appeared in Judge John Gauntt’s 27th District Court on Monday, Lowe made a motion seeking a new court-appointed attorney since he said he felt lied to and did not trust his current attorney.
“I’m begging the court for a new lawyer, judge, so I can fight this case,” Lowe said.
But Gauntt denied Lowe’s request and told Lowe he would be preparing his court for Lowe’s trial after lunch.
Moments later, Lowe signed a document waiving his right to a jury trial, opting instead for a judgment by Gauntt in the case. A group of prospective jurors waiting in the hallway outside was subsequently dismissed.
Lowe was then offered a plea bargain that would cap his sentence at no more than 25 years in prison. If convicted by a jury, Lowe would have faced five to 99 years or life in prison.
Lowe took the deal and pleaded guilty just before lunch Monday.
“I’m pleading guilty because I felt remorse for the victim,” he told the court.
Lowe previously was found incompetent to stand trial, but his competency was restored by Judge Martha Trudo’s 264th District Court in June, according to testimony.
Just before 5 p.m. Monday, Gauntt sentenced Lowe to 20 years in prison. According to prosecutors, Lowe must serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.