APPLETON, Wis (WSAU) An Appleton man still proclaimed his innocence as he was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison yesterday, for robbing a movie theater of $20,000. 30-year-old Cornelius Carolina still insists he was not one of two masked men caught on a surveillance video robbing the Hollywood Cinema west of Appleton last April. He said they threw him the money as they fled the scene – and he just made a poor decision in keeping it and running from the police. Carolina said he was just in the wrong place in the wrong time, but Outagamie County Circuit Judge Michael Gage called that story implausible. And a jury didn’t buy it either, when they convicted him last October of armed robbery, false imprisonment, theft, reckless endangerment, and possession a gun as a convicted felon.
Police said one man tied up an employee’s wrists and ankles with zip-ties, while the other filled up bags of money. After they left, the employee called 9-1-1, and police arrested Carolina after a foot chase in which he dropped most of the stolen cash. He never identified the other robber, and prosecutors said it showed a lack of remorse. But Carolina’s lawyer said prosecutors never gave him an incentive to tell on the other guy during plea negotiations that never worked out. Authorities also said Carolina did time for a previous robbery.
He’ll spend 12-and-a-half years under extended supervision once he leaves prison for his latest crime.