An Ogden judge handed down a prison sentence Wednesday to a 16-year-old boy who had pleaded guilty to robbery charges.
Cooper Van Huizen was sentenced to two terms of one to 15 years in prison, after 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones told the teen that the recommended sentence of 180 days in jail was not harsh enough for his crimes.
"It is one of the most serious offenses there is," Jones told the teen before sentencing him. "I think robbery is such a serious offense … I just can’t follow this recommendation. It’s way too soft for what happened here."
According to court records, Van Huizen was charged in December with two counts of first-degree felony robbery and one count of first-degree felony aggravated burglary. He eventually took a plea deal, pleading guilty to two second-degree felony robbery charges.
"No, please, no, please," the slender teen cried as bailiffs immediately handcuffed him and led him out of the courtroom as family members sobbed in the gallery.
Charging documents allege that Van Huizen and several others broke into a home and robbed two people at gunpoint. Jones said in court Tuesday that Van Huizen had taken his dad’s gun, and that the teens had planned six other similar robberies.
"I can’t imagine the fear that the victim went through in this case," the judge told Van Huizen.
The teen apologized in court Tuesday, asking the judge for mercy. His attorney, Roy Cole, had asked for home confinement or the chance to delay any jail sentence until the summer so Van Huizen could finish his high school classes.
"I know I’ve messed up pretty big," Van Huizen said. "I’m very remorseful for what I’ve done."
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