Driver Sentenced In Robbery Scheme That Ended In Gibson Murder

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- The driver in a robbery sheme that turned into murder was sentenced Friday morning to almost five years in prison.

Kevin Wilkins, Jr. will serve the 59-month sentence for aggravated robbery to Lori Allison, but was also sentenced to almost three years for attempted aggravated robbery of Natalie Gibson and about 3 and a half years for aggravated battery of Lori Allison. Wilkins will also get credit for time served, which is about two years.

Judge Richard Anderson set the sentences as concurrent.

Wilkins was driving a van full of people who planned to rob a home at 307 Southwest Quinton on July 21, 2011. However, the home's residents, Lori Allison and Natalie Gibson, returned home right before the robbery was supposed to take place. They had been out celebrating Gibson's 40th birthday.

Bayate Covington, Ronald Wakes, Michael Wilkins, Anceo Stovall, Duane Richey, Jimmy Netherland, Frednetta Winston and Daquan Wilkins were also a part of the plan.

Gibson was fatally shot in the driveway of the home, while Allison was shot in the arm and later recovered. Jimmy Netherland was sentenced to life in prison, pegged as the shooter.

"Your actions as a driver in the commission of these crimes led to serious harm to people, the death of one person," Judge Richard Anderson said to Wilkins in court Friday.

The defense did not ask for a shorter sentence for Wilkins, nor probation or departure, but asked the court to consider that Wilkins is impressionable and vulerable to manipulaton into participating in the crimes. He has a diagnosed mild mental illness and suffers a speech impairment. The defense recommended direct supervision, medication management and case management for Wilkins while he serves his term. The defense also asked the court to consider that Wilkins has no prior criminal history

Prosecution Attorney Chris Biggs said that the court is aware that Wilkins has limitations, from forensic results from Larned State Hospital. Biggs said Wilkins is a person that could be somewhat manipulated, but he is still guilty.

"Mr. Wilkins did know what he was doing in this particular case by his own statements during the investigation and by the other statements of other witnesses. This isn't the first time he participated in what we call 'hitting licks.'"

Kevin Wilkins is related to Daquan Wilkins and Michael Wilkins. Biggs recognized that Kevin did cooperate and testify against his brother, half-brother and friends.

He did not put in a request for restitution.

Anderson asked if Wilkins wanted to address the court. Wilkins denied.

Anderson also said Wilkins' "actions as driver in the commisson of these crimes led to serious crimes to people, the death of one person." Wilkins also said, "I might ask you, if you will address this, people are wondering why did you do it, why did you get involved in these crimes, what were you thinking? Do you wish to answer any of those questions?"

Wilkins responded with a hesitated "no."

Frednetta Winston will be sentenced Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Duane Richey, who was a minor at the time of the crimes, has a court hearing July 29, and will likely plea.

Michael Wilkins has a pretrial on that same day, July 29. He has a jury trial set for February 2014.