Washington Man Charged with Armed Robberies Sentenced

Sentencing has been handed down for a Washington man charged with armed robbery.

On Friday, 29-year-old Brandon Austin was sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with 2 armed robberies that happened in 2011. Austin’s sentence comes after he was found to have robbed the Fast Max location along East National Highway in Washington back on June 7th of 2011. He also attempted an armed robbery on June 11th at another Washington business.

Now the sentence includes more than 2 years of time that Austin has already spent incarcerated at the Daviess County Security Center. 5 years was cut off of the sentence with credit. Judge Dean Sobecki stated that Austin would be able to apply for various programs through the Indiana Department of Corrections. Sobecki said at the sentencing that if Austin were to complete those programs, he would then be able to file to have his sentence reduced.

Sobecki additionally stated during the sentencing hearing that he wanted Austin to put some of what he has learned in recent years into practice. During his time behind bars, Austin completed and graduated from the Resisting Addiction Through Recovery and Education (RARE) program offered through the Daviess County Security Center. He was one of the first to graduate from the program. Following his time in the RARE program, Austin served as a trustee for the jail and he also was a part of the department’s road crew. Additionally, he accompanied Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit for a presentation in Indianapolis as a representative of the RARE program.

As for Austin, he said during his testimony that the Fast Max robbery was a bad decision on his part. During that robbery (which took place just before 9:40 pm on June 7th of 2011) he walked into the Fast Max wearing an orange hunting mask and carrying a large steak knife. He demanded money from store clerk Travis Medley and Medley complied. Then four days later, Austin brought another knife and tried to rob Russell Reel, who also worked at the Fast Max. Reel got into a fight with Austin after refusing to give over money. During the fight, Reel beat Austin with a club, resulting in Austin leaving the store empty-handed. Austin testified on Friday that he netted about 300 dollars for the two robberies.

After an informant told Washington Police in August of 2011 that Austin may have been involved in robbing the store, police viewed surveillance video from the time period of the robberies. After viewing the video, Washington Police confirmed Austin’s involvement and served a search warrant on him. Austin told police that he had committed the robberies. He also admitted to taking quarters from the Soap Opera laudromat in Washington earlier that year.