Teen defendant sent to prison for robbery

A Medford teenager was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for his role in several downtown robberies.

Steven Leslie Myrick, 17, of the 1800 block of Kings Highway, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court to a charge of second-degree robbery. Myrick helped 19-year-old Christopher Wayne Gibson steal $84 from a man on April 1 near the intersection of Eighth and Main streets after Gibson punched the man.

Gibson was sentenced on May 3 to a mandatory 10 years in prison, but Circuit Court Judge Bill Purdy agreed to a reduced term for Myrick because of his age and his lack of previous robbery convictions. Myrick was not armed during the encounter and did not physically injure the victim. The teen cooperated with police, said his defense attorney Christine Herbert.

Gibson also pleaded guilty to the robbery, as well as to taking $18 from a Mail Tribune employee after threatening the woman with a steak knife in the parking lot behind the newspaper's Fir Street office.

The robbery happened on April 5 at about 7 p.m. as the woman was leaving work.

Two days earlier, Myrick and Gibson carried out a robbery plot against an elderly woman, a retired Mail Tribune employee, Medford police said. While one distracted the woman, the other went into her car — near the corner of Fifth and Grape streets — and stole her purse, police said.

Charges in that case of theft, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit robbery were dropped as part of Gibson's and Myrick's plea agreements.

Police looked for the robbery suspects for several days before arresting Gibson on April 10 and Myrick a few days later. Both have since remained in the Jackson County Jail.

In addition to serving two years and 10 months in prison, Myrick must also spend three year on post-prison supervision.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail slemon@mailtribune.com.

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