The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a Rochester man’s 86-month prison sentence for his involvement in a violent robbery of a local GameStop store.
Ali Joshua Jalil Robida, 21, was sentenced in October 2018 by Judge Christina Stevens in Olmsted County District Court to 86-months in state prison after pleading guilty months earlier to a single count of felony aiding and abetting first-degree assault. As part of a plea agreement, two other felony charges were dismissed.
Robida had appealed the sentence, arguing that the district court erred in denying his motion for a downward dispositional or durational departure “because he is particularly amenable to treatment and the district court did not explain its reasons for denying the durational departure,” according to the unpublished appeals court opinion.
On Feb. 19, 2018, Robida and Jacob Anthony Meier walked into a video game store, and spent eight minutes talking with the employee before striking him in the head with a hammer. That blow to the head knocked him out, and Robida and Meier spent the next five minutes gathering dozens of video games and an Xbox until the employee regained consciousness.
That assault left the employee with severe injuries — he later underwent surgery to repair a fractured skull, a brain hemorrhage and to relieve the pressure on his brain.
In the unpublished opinion released Monday, the state’s appeals court ruled that the district court did not err because it imposed a sentence within the presumptive guidelines after “carefully considering the testimony and all evidence.”
Before the sentencing hearing, Robida filed a motion seeking a downward dispositional or durational sentencing departure requesting the district court hand down either a stay of execution of the presumptive prison sentence or 48-month prison sentence.
At the time of sentencing, the district court judge did not grant Robida’s motion. Upon review, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the district court acted within its discretion and affirmed the sentence.
Robida’s co-defendant, Meier, 20, pleaded guilty in Olmsted County District Court in September 2018 to a single count of felony-first-degree assault. Two other felony charges were dismissed. Three months later, he was sentenced by Judge Kathy Wallace to 98-months in state prison.