1 teen pleads guilty to series of armed robberies

A 17-year-old boy has pleaded guilty in juvenile court to taking part with his friends in four armed robberies of gas stations, including one where a clerk was shot despite complying with the teen's demands. The teen admitted Thursday to two counts of aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies, while two identical charges were dismissed, according to a Utah State Courts spokesman. The teen was sentenced the same to detention in a secure youth facility, where he could potentially be held by a Youth Parole Authority until age 21. He also must complete 500 hours of community service.

According to police, the teens carried out three robberies on Jan. 22, brandishing guns, and ordering the store clerks to empty cash registers and lay on the ground. They are also accused of another robbery that took place the next day. In that robbery, 21-year-old Maxwell Vanorden opened the registers and allowed the teens to take the cash, but the 16-year-old told police he shot the clerk twice because "he wasn't listening" and that "the clerk thought it was a game and wasn't taking them seriously," according to charging documents.

The cases of the two teen accomplices, including the 16-year-old accused gunman, are ongoing.

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