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Gainesville man sentenced in robbery, burglary cases

A Gainesville man was sentenced to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a number of robbery, theft and burglary cases from 2019 and 2020, according to court documents.

Yadreka Watkins, 37, took pleas on four separate cases Aug. 2, receiving a sentence of seven years in prison on the most serious cases. The office of Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin confirmed the sentences for all four cases are running concurrently.

Watkins was accused of demanding the money and personal belongings from two people who were in a car Jan. 2, 2020, in the Glenn Cove Apartments’ parking lot on Norton Drive.

Gainesville Police Cpl. Jessica Van previously told The Times Watkins urinated in the parking lot while he was in custody.

Watkins was charged in a December indictment with two counts of armed robbery and one count of public indecency.

He pleaded guilty to two amended counts of robbery as well as the indecency charge, and Gosselin imposed a total sentence of 15 years with the first seven years behind bars.

Watkins will receive credit for time served, and the remainder of the sentence may be served on probation.

Defense attorney Jason Wilson did not immediately return a request for comment.

Gosselin recommended Watkins be considered for the Reentry Accountability Court Transition program, which intends to give offenders educational opportunities and vocational training.

Roughly two weeks after Watkins’ initial arrest, police brought more charges.

During Christmas 2019, a woman living at the Ridgecrest Apartments on Roper Hill Road reported her TV stolen after a burglary, police said.

The next day, a person found a TV on Facebook Marketplace and went to the Ridgecrest Apartments to buy it from Watkins, Van said.

Watkins was charged in an indictment with first-degree burglary, theft by receiving stolen property and theft by deception, but the prosecutors dismissed the latter two charges earlier this month.

Watkins was given a 10-year sentence with the first seven years behind bars on the burglary charge, which was pleaded to under the statute of Alford v. North Carolina.

Under Alford, a defendant maintains their innocence while conceding that the evidence would likely lead to a conviction.

Watkins also pleaded guilty to one count of entering auto and misdemeanor theft by taking as well as a second entering auto case. On both cases, he was sentenced to five years to serve behind bars.

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