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5 years in prison for Spearfish Pizza Ranch robber

January 11, 2019

DEADWOOD — A man who robbed the Spearfish Pizza Ranch at gunpoint July 30, 2018 was sentenced by 4th Circuit Court Judge Michelle Comer at the Lawrence County Courthouse Thursday.

Daniel Orlando Beck, Jr., 19, of Rapid City pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery Nov. 11, 2018, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, five years suspended, with credit for 163 days served. Beck was also ordered to make restitution to Pizza Ranch in the amount of $411.86, pay court costs of $138.60, and reimburse Lawrence County $3,487.73 in attorney’s fees.

The sentence follows the recommendation made by the state, represented by State’s Attorney John Fitzgerald, who called two witnesses to testify — Pizza Ranch owner Ted Schilling, and primary case investigator Jason DeNui of the Spearfish Police Department.

During testimony, it was revealed that Schilling and his family members have been traumatized by the robbery.

“The biggest effect has been on the kids,” Schilling said, adding that his 10-year-old son has been affected the most, experiencing a high level of anxiety. “He doesn’t want to go anywhere. He’s afraid to go out … when my wife and I go to work, he doesn’t want for us to be away.”

Schilling said the robbery has also affected him.

“When cars pull up late at night, my first thought is, ‘Are they here to rob me?’”

Schilling also said the robbery has been costly beyond the money stolen, with the installation of more security cameras and extra closing procedures implemented.

DeNui testified as to many of the facts of the case and said that much of the money that was stolen was recovered and will be returned once legal proceedings are finalized.

DeNui also testified that part of the stolen property recovered was a backpack containing a number of residential and vehicle keys not belonging to Beck or his juvenile brother, who has also been charged in the case. One set of keys matched a vehicle at a local car dealership that the owner reported missing.

Defense attorney Joe Kosel asked Comer to consider suspending the other five years of the sentence, based upon the fact that his client is only 19-years-old, an age when adolescent brain development is still occurring. In working with his client, Kosel described Beck as respectful, cooperative, patient, and not making excuses.

Given the opportunity by Comer to address the court, Beck declined and remained silent.

Just prior to sentencing, Comer said that Beck has a lot of positives in his life, including his father.

“I pray that you understand this isn’t the end of the road for you … but, instead, a beginning for you,” Comer said.

Beck was indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury Aug. 8, 2018, and charged with one count of first-degree robbery, the victim listed as Pizza Ranch in Spearfish; and one count of grand theft by possession of stolen property, more than $5,000, but less than $100,000, the victim listed as the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the grand theft charge, petty theft, and other information that would enhance penalties in the case were dismissed.

Court documents say that at approximately 10:18 p.m. July 30, 2018, the Spearfish Police Department received a report of an armed robbery that had just occurred at Pizza Ranch in Spearfish.

While the robbery victim was counting the cash drawers at the cashier counter, two male subjects in masks entered the business and demanded the money. One of the male suspects was waving a gun. After stealing $420 in cash, the men fled out the front door of Pizza Ranch.

Law enforcement was able to identify a potential suspect vehicle, using video obtained from surrounding businesses. The vehicle was located in Spearfish, a search warrant on a local residence obtained and executed, and evidence related to the robbery seized from that residence. The suspects in the case were also located at this Spearfish residence.

Two stolen vehicles, one from Spearfish, a white Chevrolet Trail Blazer reported stolen earlier in the day from a repair shop on Heritage Drive, and one reported stolen earlier in the day by the Rosebud Tribal Police from the Rosebud Reservation, a red Chevrolet pickup, were also recovered.

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