Almost as quickly as she was arrested for the crime, a Pekin woman pleaded guilty Monday to robbing a convenience store at knifepoint last month.
Nicole Lingenfelter, 30, will serve the minimum six-year prison term for armed robbery, punishable by up to 30 years.
With no prior criminal record, she told her judge she was on drugs when she brandished a knife before a clerk behind the Casey’s General Store counter and drove away with $520 from the store’s cash register.
“You were high?” asked Tazewell County Circuit Judge Stephen Kouri.
“Yes,” Lingenfelter replied.
It was only her second court appearance since she was indicted for committing the crime early May 16 at the 1800 N. Eighth St. store. She pleaded not guilty to the Class X felony on June 8.
Lingenfelter, of 1010 Court St., Apt. 4, entered the store shortly before 1 a.m. wearing glasses and a hat and walked to the counter. She told the clerk to look down at the brown knife she was holding, then ordered him to put all the cash register money in a plastic bag, stated a prosecutor’s court affidavit.
After she walked from the store, the clerk shouted to the store manager, who ran from the kitchen in time to see Lingenfelter drive away in a blue vehicle and read its license plate number, the affidavit stated.
Alerted by the store's 911 call, a police officer spotted the car about a half-mile north of the store on North Eighth near Velde Drive. He pulled Lingenfelter over with no incident and, inside the car, found a baseball cap, glasses and the bag containing the cash.
Lingenfelter will be given credit for the 40 days she’s spent in custody on $50,000 bond and with good behavior can reduce her prison term by half.
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