ST. LOUIS JUSTICE CENTER/MABEL SUEN
An ex-con has pleaded guilty to a felony after busting an ice cream shop employee's nose in a brutal robbery.
Rodney Gardner, 52, of St. Louis was arrested in March following the attack at the Central West End location of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (389 Euclid Avenue, 314-367-1700.)
Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office say he had posed as customer before ordering employees to hand over the cash register.
Gardner punched one worker, identified only by her initials in court papers, repeatedly in the face. He broke the woman's nose, grabbed the cash register and bolted out of the store, only to be chased down by city police officers and arrested.
Gardner has a previous robbery conviction in state court and was sentenced in 1999 to sixteen years in prison.
He pleaded guilty today in federal court to interfering with state commerce. He faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
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