A Lonoke County man who admitted in circuit court last month to robbing a Vilonia gas station at gunpoint is asking a Faulkner County judge to reconsider the sentence he was given.
Cody Lane Cagle, 20, of Cabot, reached a negotiated deal with prosecutors one week before his scheduled jury trial and pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery, a Class Y felony, on March 16.
Online records show Circuit Judge Troy Braswell Jr. sentenced the Lonoke County man to 19 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for robbing a Keith’s Service Center employee at gunpoint on Jan. 18, 2019. Cagle was also ordered to pay back $1,600 in restitution to Keith’s upon his release from prison.
Because he was sentenced to 13 years in ADC for an aggravated robbery charge he received in White County regarding an incident that occurred in less than an hour of the January 2019 robbery in Vilonia, Cagle said he feels the sentence Braswell gave him is too harsh and that his attorney did not represent him well.
In an appeal notice filed on April 7 in Faulkner County Circuit Court, the Lonoke County man said he believes his sentence was illegally imposed “because of insufficient counsel and Habeas Corpus Personal Liberty Law.”
“I was sentenced too much time for my crime,” Cagle’s appeal reads in part. “My lawyer did not efficiently represent me. I was told lies in order to keep him as my lawyer. My case was not justified.”
Cagle was 19 years old when held a Vilonia gas station clerk at gun point, according to the probable cause affidavit that was filed against him.
He went into the gas station shortly after 5:20 a.m. Jan. 18, 2019, and attempted to break a $100 bill before threatening the cashier and demanding she give him money. Cagle was wearing a black hoodie and a white mask that covered his face as he demanded the woman give him money.
When the woman refused, saying she could not cash in a bill that large, Cagle asked her to break a $20 bill instead.
The cashier OK’d exchanging smaller bills for the $20 bill when suddenly, Cagle “pulled out a black, semi-automatic handgun and demanded the money” in the register, court records state.
As she handed over the money, the woman said that Cagle took her phone and fled in a white Kia Soul that was parked in a nearby church parking lot.
Vilonia Police Department Lt. Tony Hartwick eventually pinpointed Cagle, who was also involved in a robbery at a Shell gas station in El Passo, as the suspect in the Vilonia case.
Cagle has since pleaded guilty in both cases.
Court documents show he pleaded guilty to a Class Y felony (aggravated robbery) in Lonoke County in October 2019, where he was ultimately ordered to serve 13 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
He pleaded guilty to the same charge in Faulkner County on March 16. Since pleading guilty, the Lonoke County man said it was “illegal” for Braswell to impose the “maximum sentence” against him because he was not properly represented by his attorney, James “Jim” Earl Hensley Jr.
Online records show Cagle was sentenced by Braswell to 19 years in prison. The maximum sentence for a Class Y felony is 10-40 years or life in prison.
According to Cagle’s appeal, he claims Hensley lied to him by claiming he would work out a seven-year deal.
Cagle also said he believes he should not bee sentenced as harshly because the Faulkner County case was the first felony case he was charged in.
“I am 20 years old. [I was] 19 at the time I caught charges [and] was highly/severely addicted to heroin and Xanax bars. I have no prior convictions or violent history,” his appeal notice reads in part.
“These are my first felony charges I have every caught.
“I was sentenced to too much time for my crime. First-degree murderers are sentenced to 20-25 years. They killed a human being. No one was hurt in my case.”
As of press time Monday, a hearing in the matter had not been set.