Eric Gregory Lawson, the man who robbed the Hastings Walgreens in October of 2015, was sentenced to 25 to 60 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Amy McDowell Thursday, June 16, Barry County Prosecutor Julie-Nakfoor Pratt said.
Lawson pleaded no contest to armed robbery in April as a four time habitual offender. The maximum sentence for armed robbery is life in prison. Lawson will serve a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison because at least one of his prior offenses is a “serious crime” under Michigan law, Nakfoor-Pratt said.
Lawson was visiting a friend in Michigan when he robbed Walgreens on his way to Kent County to see the friend. He also faces robbery charges in the state of Ohio. Nakfoor-Pratt required the mandatory minimum as part of the plea to address Lawson’s lengthy and violent criminal history.
“Lawson is a menace to society and this sentence is well deserved. He has no empathy or respect for what he has put the victims and our community through. The victims have shown strength and courage throughout the court process, they deserve some peace of mind,” she said.
Two victims from Walgreens were at the trial; one made a statement in a letter read by Nakfoor-Pratt describing the negative effects she suffered after the robbery.
Nakfoor-Pratt thanked the Hastings Police Department, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and the Howland, Ohio, Police Department for their coordinated efforts in locating and apprehending Lawson within days of the Walgreens robbery.