A man whose 25-year sentence for aggravated robbery was thrown out by a higher court was sentenced to 40 years Wednesday by the second jury to consider his case.
Roderick Beham, 23, was found guilty of aggravated robbery by a jury in 2014 and assessed a 25-year prison term. Beham appealed his case to the 6th District Court of Appeals in Texarkana and last year, the appellate court affirmed his conviction but sent the case back for a new punishment trial.
Tuesday a second jury was chosen at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston, Texas, to determine what punishment Beham should receive for the Dec. 22, 2013, gunpoint robbery of the Country Inn and Suites in Texarkana, Texas.
Beham and two accomplices scouted the lobby of the hotel before Beham walked in with a gun and pointed it at Amanda Gardener. Beham repeatedly told Gardener to open the hotel’s safe and when she couldn’t, he stole her wallet. Inside were several Walmart gift cards Gardener had bought as Christmas gifts. Surveillance footage from Walmart which showed Beham using the cards enabled law enforcement to identify him as a suspect and arrest him.
“What happened to her that night can only be described as a nightmare, a nightmare nobody should have to live,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards said in closing arguments. “Amanda Gardener is still living with it. Send a message about what that type of behavior gets you when you inflict that nightmare on someone.”
Public Defender Chad Crowl described Beham as a “good kid who did a stupid thing,” and asked the jury to sentence him with mercy. Crowl pointed out that Beham has no prior felony convictions and said he was motivated to commit the crime because his sister needed Christmas money.
Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp asked the jury to send a message.
“This is a perfect opportunity for this jury to set a standard. What is it worth when you stick a gun in someone’s face,” Crisp said in closing arguments. “I’m asking you to go back there and let your verdict say what you think about people who hold guns on our citizens.”
Richards and Crisp both asked the jury to sentence Beham to at least 30 years. The 40-year term the jury of six men and six women handed down is 15 more than Beham received during his first trial in 2014.