A man convicted of attempted robbery outside a Cache Valley Burger King last year was ordered to serve 1-15 years in the Utah State Prison on Wednesday.
Luis Alfredo Maldanado, 31, pleaded guilty in October to two amended counts of second-degree attempted aggravated robbery and one count of second-degree possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person. As part of a plea agreement, two counts of third-degree aggravated assault were dismissed, and Cache County prosecutors agreed to concurrent sentencing with two other cases involving controlled substances.
During his sentencing, Maldanado said he had been using his time in jail wisely by bettering himself. He apologized for his actions, said he was nervous to address the court and went on to explain the incident was “drug-fueled and alcohol-fueled.”
“I’m not a violent person,” Maldanado said. “I just struggle with addiction.”
Defense attorney John Easton told the court Maldanado had no significant criminal history involving violent crime and expressed some disagreement with the facts in the case. Easton said a separate co-defendant performed the actual robbery — an act that deprived the two victims of around $20 and heightened the severity of the charges filed against his client.
“It was not Mr. Maldanado that took the money,” Easton said.
Cache County prosecutor Andrew Crane recommended a prison sentence and said he was hopeful Maldanado could receive treatment.
“The facts are what they are,” Crane said. “It could have been way worse.”
According to Logan City Police, the robbery occurred on Oct. 13, 2020, outside a Burger King in Logan. An affidavit filed with the court states two victims reported being robbed at gunpoint while sitting in their car.
Police wrote a 17-year-old juvenile entered the backseat of the victims’ vehicle and revealed a handgun tucked in his waistband. Meanwhile, another individual matching Maldanado’s description brandished what was believed to be “a twelve-gauge shotgun,” police wrote.
Initially charged with first-degree felonies, Maldanado pleaded guilty to lesser charges exactly one year later.
Judge Brian Cannell said while Maldanado may not be a violent person today, the incident could have resulted in “significant bodily harm or death.”
“In that moment, you were (violent),” Cannell said.
In addition to prison, Judge Brian Cannell ordered Maldanado to pay $600 in restitution to the victims. Maldanado was also given credit for over 400 days served.
Family members in support of Maldanado were present during the sentencing; Cannell said Maldanado was fortunate for their continued support.