A 52-year-old city man will spend the next 11 to 22 years in state prison for armed robbery of a Newberry convenience store that took place nearly two years ago.
But Robert Graham, who most recently resided at 23 W. Seventh St., maintained his innocence throughout his trial and sentencing.
His sentence was handed down Wednesday in Lycoming County Court by Judge Marc F. Lovecchio.
A fingerprint at the Uni-Mart at 1944 W. Fourth St. matched Graham's, while surveillance footage matched his description, according to testimony.
The footage showed a man pointing a handgun at a clerk and leaving with $117 and five cartons of cigarettes. According to police, Graham told the clerk "to open the safe or he would shoot her."
The incident happened at 2:20 a.m. on June 22, 2009.
"At that time in the morning I was nowhere near this establishment. I was asleep," Graham said at his sentencing. "That's not me on the tape."
Graham was found guilty March 8 on counts of robbery, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats and possession of an instrument of crime.
In two letters Graham sent Lovecchio before Wednesday, Graham said he "cannot accept responsibility for a crime I did not commit," and asked for "mercy" at his sentencing, the judge read from the correspondence.
The man also complained that his girlfriend was forced to testify against him during the trial against her will.
Lovecchio reminded Graham that a jury found him guilty of the crimes.
"As you sit here today, you're a guilty man and I have to treat you as that," the judge said.
Graham's attorney, County Chief Public Defender William Miele, argued that adding multiple charges on top of the robbery - known as "stacking" - was not necessary. Miele said any act of brandishing a weapon or verbal threats were all part of the same crime.
Lovecchio described the incident as a "frightening crime."
"This was all over $117 and five cartons of cigarettes," he said.
Graham has a previous criminal history dating to 1978 in Philadelphia, according to court records, including charges of theft, burglary and forgery.
He will receive more than 650 days credit for time already served.
Lovecchio said the sentence was appropriate.
"These kinds of things cannot continue to happen in the community," he said.