A Billings judge on Monday sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for using a BB gun to rob a gas station in December.
District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced 30-year-old David Lee Spindlow to 20 years in the Montana State Prison with 10 years suspended.
The judge also revoked Spindlow’s probation in a 2003 felony theft case and added another two years to the Department of Corrections to Spindlow’s prison time.
In mid-May, Spindlow admitted he robbed the Holiday gas station at 745 Grand Ave. on Dec. 18.
A clerk at the gas station reported a masked man armed with a handgun came in and demanded money. The clerk gave the robber about $300, court records say.
Billings police officers arrested Spindlow a short time later after receiving multiple reports of a man who matched the robber’s description knocking on doors and trying to get into homes in the area of Sixth Street West and Avenue B.
One officer reported seeing a wad of cash sticking out of Spindlow’s pocket.
Spindlow’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Moira D’Alton, said her client could have faced a mandatory life sentence because this offense was his third armed robbery, but that he qualifies for an exception because no one was injured in the robbery.
Spindlow was drunk and high on marijuana when he used an empty BB gun to rob the gas station, D'Alton said.
Spindlow read a 90-second statement, apologizing to the court, the community, the victim and his own family, in particular his young son.
“He deserves the father that I was before I chose to pick up pot and booze again, the dad he knows is not a criminal or an addict,” Spindlow said.