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Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

A woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbing an employee of the Northside Family YMCA and forcing her to take money from the business's emergency cash box.

Ashley D. Coles, 31, entered her plea to a single count of robbery in an appearance before Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley B. Cavedo, who scheduled sentencing for Oct. 29.

Prosecutor Janet Lee said she will ask for a prison sentence within the state guidelines, which call for a range of one year and nine months to four years and two months.

The victim was not injured in the robbery, which Lee said occurred the night of Nov. 8 as the victim was walking to her car in the parking lot after completing her shift at the YMCA, in the 4200 block of Old Brook Road.

Lee said Coles approached the victim and asked to use her cellphone so she could try to locate her daughter. The victim offered to take Coles inside the YMCA and allow her to use one of the phones in the building but, as they began walking, Coles slipped behind her, told her she had a weapon and demanded $20.

When the victim said she had only $3 but could get more from the YMCA's emergency cash fund, Coles forced her to go inside and take more than $200 from the fund, Lee said.

Police recognized Coles from a description the victim provided, and officers quickly located her and asked if she would come to the police station and speak with them about another matter. When they got to the station and went into an interview room, they told her they actually wanted to talk about the robbery.

Lee said Coles became enraged and kicked a door so hard that it bounced off a wall and then struck a detective. The wall was damaged, but the detective was not seriously injured.

Police also charged Coles with destruction of property and assault on a law enforcement officer. Prosecutors elected against pursuing those charges in exchange for Coles' guilty plea to the robbery charge.


August 22, 2014


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