Victim Defends Brother in Court
By Lisa Pett
The last of three individuals convicted of robbing the Wigwam Inn on November 30, 2014 was sentenced to 15 years on Monday in Portage County Court.
Harlon Raymond, 25, will serve five years initial confinement followed by ten years of extended supervision for what Judge Thomas Eagon called his “leading role” in the crime, committed along with Raymond’s cousin and niece.
Tanner Raymond, 20, and Destiny Clinton 18, have already been sentenced for their involvement in the robbery.
Harlon Raymond confessed to his part in the robbery, in which he and Tanner entered the isolated, rural bar in the early morning hours, brandishing a loaded AK-47 assault rifle and threatening patrons and the bartender, who is Harlon Raymond’s sister.
While Clinton waited in the car, the pair robbed the bar of $1,400 in cash, then slashed the tires of cars in the parking lot to avoid being followed. They fled in a vehicle but abandoned the car during a police pursuit. Soon after, they broke into a Rosholt residence, where they were later found hiding in the basement along with the stolen money.
In spite of Raymond’s confession to the crime and the evidence collected during the investigation, Raymond’s sister, a victim in the incident, made a teary, pleading statement to the court, claiming her brother’s innocence. She stated that the perpetrators were taller than her brother and wore tan trench coats.
“I swear it wasn’t him. I know it,” she said.
Judge Eagon was unmoved.
“All evidence points that your sister is in denial,” Eagon said to Raymond. “I sympathize with her sense of betrayal that her [own] brother would point a gun at her.”
Raymond tearfully apologized to the victims and his family sitting in the courtroom.
“I know that I am so very sorry,” he said. “I have made some very, very bad choices.”
Raymond claimed he only agreed to participate in the robbery to insure nobody would get hurt. But his argument was lost to Eagon, who cited Raymond’s extensive criminal record and past prison sentence.
“You were the oldest, the most experienced,” Eagon said. “You knew more than anyone what the consequences would be. You could have talked them out of it. Instead you chose to participate.”
The sentence Judge Eagon handed down in this case will be served consecutively to a sentence Harlon Raymond is already serving. Raymond was already on parole extended supervision and had only been released from prison three months prior to committing the Wigwam robbery.
Raymond was also sentenced to concurrent sentences for other misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property, obstructing an officer and criminal trespass. For each count, he was sentenced to one year.
He also received a 364-day concurrent sentence in the county jail for delivering illegal articles to an inmate after he tried to slip a note to brother Tanner Raymond while in jail to convince him to change his story.