A Bend man was sentenced to nearly six years in prison Tuesday for a spree of robberies that took place last summer.
Tyler Speas, 20, pleaded guilty in April to three robberies. On Tuesday, Deschutes County Circuit Judge Wells Ashby followed a plea deal and sentenced Speas to a total of 70 months.
Speas robbed a Dutch Bros. coffee cart of $572 on July 24 with what looked like a handgun. He was arrested by the Bend Police Department on Sept. 3.
After police made it aware they were searching for a man in the robbery, several of Speas’ co-workers at a local roofing company called police to report Speas told them he robbed the coffee stand to pay for a pickup truck.
Police also connected him to the robbery of high-end marijuana-smoking equipment from Puff Puff Pass in Bend, as well as the theft of a GPS device from the garage of a house his employer was roofing.
According to court testimony, police got a warrant to search Speas’ truck and found a sweatshirt that matched the description of one being worn by the man wanted in the Dutch Bros. robbery, a BB gun that resembled the weapon described in the robbery and two smoking devices believed to be stolen from Puff Puff Pass.
Speas was originally charged with five felonies and four misdemeanors in the two cases. Under the plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to seven charges, and avoided getting a Measure 11 sentence. Measure 11 is Oregon’s mandatory minimum sentencing law for violent crimes.
Speas was transported from the Deschutes County jail to appear at the sentencing in person on Tuesday. His lawyer, Shawn Kollie, said since September he has noticed a big change in Speas’ outlook on life. He said Speas was caught up in the wrong crowd when the robberies occurred.
Five people identified as Speas’ family members attended the hearing. One man stood to speak on Speas’ behalf before Ashby handed down the sentence. He said Speas was smart and a good kid, but agreed he fell in with the wrong crowd. He said Speas will learn his lesson in prison.
After sentencing Speas to 70 months in prison, Ashby said when he gets out, Speas will be viewed as part of the “wrong crowd.” He said it will be up to Speas to decide if he wants to break stereotypes, or continue down a life of crime.
— Reporter: 541-383-0376, firstname.lastname@example.org