Tahoe boy sentenced to one year after pleading guilty to attempted robbbery | RecordCourier.com
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Tahoe boy sentenced to one year after pleading guilty to attempted robbbery

by Merrie Leininger, staff writer

A South Lake Tahoe boy was sentenced to one year in the Douglas County Jail after pleading guilty in connection with an attempted robbery.

Shawn Michael Gennarini, 17, was a student at South Lake Tahoe High School until his arrest April 27. Gennarini has been in the juvenile detention center, then the adult jail, since his arrest. He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit larceny from a person, a gross misdemeanor, in adult court. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail with credit for 102 days served. He will not be on probation when released.

“The court looks at this as a very serious crime. There was a premeditated plan to rob a store. That didn’t happen when the store was closed. They used masks and a gun and he had already been through the juvenile system twice in California,” Gibbons said. “The most important factor is the harm done to the victim. This court takes a very dim view of the using of a weapon.”

Gennarini used a BB gun during the attempted robbery in the parking lot of Harveys casino, but the 56-year-old victim thought it was a real gun. He was not injured, but wrote a letter to the court describing how his trust has been violated and he doesn’t feel comfortable traveling anymore.

Gennarini’s attorney, Mark Jackson, attempted to portray him as one of the least responsible of the five boys involved in this case and asked for probation.

“When I first met Shawn at the juvenile detention center, he showed an extreme amount of remorse. I explained to him that although he knew the gun was a BB gun, it might as well have been a .357, and you could see the understanding register on his face,” Jackson said.

He said Gennarini changed his mind as soon as he and Lee Duncan, 16, walked up to the victim.

“He told me he wanted to back off right after they started. He realized it was not a good idea. The victim said it was Lee who began to approach. Shawn is a good kid and we need to bring that out,” Jackson said.

Deputy District Attorney Derrick Lopez said he is not sure who was most responsible for planning the robbery, but when charging them, he considered it was Gennarini with the gun, and he was the one with a record. Three boys sat in the car while Lee and Shawn tried to get money from the man. He said the boys wanted money for a trip to San Francisco. Lopez said the boys did not back away from the victim until a deputy pulled into the parking lot.

Gennarini said they didn’t even see the police officer, but rather just decided not to go through with the robbery.

“We both backed away when we saw he was scared. We realized it was wrong,” he said.

Lee Duncan was sentenced as a juvenile to the China Spring Youth Camp.

Patrick Kelly, 17, and Timothy Smith, 17, both will be in juvenile court to face charges of attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 21. A fifth boy has not yet been charged.