A Marion man has pleaded guilty to robbing a Lewis Center bank in July.
Michael Paul Dice, 59, of 131 W. Center St., Apt. A, Marion, was in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday afternoon after reaching a plea deal with county prosecutors.
Dice withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to one charge of robbery, a third-degree felony.
Assistant county prosecutor Cory Goe said that, as part of the plea negotiations, a theft charge — a fifth-degree felony — that Dice had been facing was dropped.
Goe added that, as another condition of the deal, prosecutors and Dice’s attorney, Kingston Malley Jr., would jointly recommend that Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger sentence Dice to 30 months in prison.
Krueger accepted Dice’s plea and found him guilty on the robbery charge. Krueger ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled a sentencing hearing for Nov. 16 at 9:30 a.m.
Krueger told Dice that the recommendation of 30 months in prison is just a recommendation and Krueger is not obligated to follow it. Krueger told Dice he could be sentenced to between 12 and 60 months in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
Krueger asked Dice to elaborate on the events of the robbery.
Dice said that he entered the Key Bank on Owenfield Drive on July 27 and gave a note to the teller. Dice said the note demanded cash and said the demand was a robbery. Dice said he told the teller he didn’t want any dye packs and wanted no trouble. Authorities said the teller gave Dice an undisclosed amount of money in a bag and Dice left.
Dice said he knew he had traumatized the teller but he made no threats against her and never intended to harm her.
Dice was taken into custody without incident by deputies from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 4. Officials say a surveillance video appeared on an episode of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers on Aug. 3 and a person recognized Dice and contacted authorities to tell them of his whereabouts.
Dice admitted that his outfit of a ball cap and safety glasses was “not really a disguise.”
Dice was still being held in the Delaware County Jail Wednesday afternoon.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG