Holdup bid at Berne CVS nets 15 years
Seth T. Curtis, 26, Portland, who pleaded guilty to five felony charges in the August 7, 2011, attempted robbery of the CVS Pharmacy in Berne, was sentenced to a lengthy prison term this week by Adams Circuit Court by Judge Fredrick A. Schurger
Curtis, who was shot by an off-duty officer in the CVS store, pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery, three counts of criminal confinement, and possession of paraphernalia. A charge of unlawful possession of a syringe was dismissed.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison on each count, to be served concurrently, but consecutively to any sentences he received from cases pending in Jay County.
Curtis, who may request sentence modification after serving 10 years of his sentence, must serve five years of probation upon his release, must complete the CLIFF (Clean Lifestyle Is Clean Forever, meth treatment) program in prison, and was ordered to pay $166 in court costs.
According to a report by Berne police officer James Newbold, Curtis reportedly entered the pharmacy, located along U.S. 27 north of the downtown area, dressed in black clothing, holding a handkerchief over his face with one hand and carrying a black handgun in the other.
According to the report, customer Rick Steiner was preparing to leave the pharmacy when he was confronted by Curtis, who reportedly pointed a gun at Steiner and ordered him back into the store.
Another customer, Roxann Hilton, was ordered to the pharmacy area of the store. Curtis then jumped over the pharmacy counter, aiming his gun at CVS employees Pam Meyer and Eugenia Brewster, demanding the drug Opana, a schedule II controlled substance.
Meyer attempted to open the safe to get the drug, but was unable to do so in her state of fear, according to Newbold's report.
As Curtis attempted to flee the store, he was met by off-duty sheriff's deputy Dio Hernandez.
According to the report, Curtis aimed his weapon at Hernandez, who then fired upon Curtis, striking him in the right arm and subduing him until other officers arrived.