Eric Dean was sentenced to prison in connection to Feb. 14 robbery of Hardee’s restaurant on South Limestone. JENNA LAWSON/STAFF

Springfield man sentenced in Hardee’s robbery case

A Springfield man was sentenced to prison in connection to a February robbery at a Hardee’s.

Eric Dean, 35, pleaded guilty in Clark County Common Pleas Court. Clark County Common Pleas Judge Douglas Rastatter sentenced Dean to seven years in prison. He received jail time credit from Feb. 14, the day the alleged robbery took place.

Court records say Dean walked into the restaurant just after 8 p.m. with a green and black bandana on his face and threatened an employee with a butcher knife.

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When the employee declined to give him any money, Dean said he had a gun and would shoot employees if they didn’t do what he wanted.

A different employee chased Dean out of the restaurant, and he fled the scene on his bike.

Records say Springfield police officers caught up with Dean in the 2200 block of Clifton Avenue shortly after the incident. Court records say Dean eventually confessed to the crime.

“He advised he has been going through some tough times right now financially and was only trying to get enough money to pay his electric bill. He also said that his current girlfriend was pressuring him to come up with money soon or she was going to leave him,” an affidavit says.

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Officers found the knife that Dean allegedly used in the robbery in a nearby driveway and a black backpack that was used to hide the knife.

A $75,000 bond was set for dean the day after he was arrested. He had not exited jail since he was originally arrested, according to online jail records.