A man accused of participating in a string of armed robberies committed by a group of teens, most of them Granger High School football players, was sentenced on Tuesday.
Daniel Despain Jr., 18, was ordered to serve five years probation and one year in jail. Third District Judge Anne Stirba also said Despain must write apologies to all of his victims and pay a minimum restitution of $11,000.Despain was considered by prosecutors to be among the most culpable in the crimes.
He previously entered into a plea agreement specifying jail time and probation. In exchange, he pleaded guilty to four first-degree felony counts of aggravated robbery, with gun and gang enhancements.
Stirba said that if Despain violates his probation in any way, he could be sentenced to prison for 55 years to life. However, she said she is convinced he will fulfill his probation requirements and believes he has changed.
Despain's guilty pleas were entered under a provision that allows defendants to withdraw their plea if the judge does not agree to the terms.
The teen bandits - a dozen ranging in age from 15 to 17 - robbed at least 20 Salt Lake County businesses during 1996. Not every teen participated in every robbery. Despain was 16 at the time.
Like Despain, most were bound over to the adult court system. And all pleaded guilty to second-degree felony robbery or first-degree felony aggravated robbery.
Despain, the son and brother of two Salt Lake City police officers, was charged with participating in 18 robberies but was bound over on only 14 counts of first-degree felony aggravated robbery because of evidentiary problems.
At the hearing, Despain told the judge he was sorry for his actions.