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Convicted Robber Runs out of Courtroom After Plea

Updated: Monday, March 11 2013, 10:36 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- A man made a mad dash out of a courtroom Monday, immediately after agreeing to plead guilty to five counts of robbery.

Miguel Neil, 41, sprinted away from a security officer, running out of the courtroom's two entry doors and past his attorney, prosecutors, and police.

Neil was soon taken to the ground just outside the courtroom, where he was held down by officers while screaming, "Please, please, please, let me see my son."

Police arrested Neil in November after he robbed a BMV on Dilmont Road with a fake gun while wearing a mask, telling everyone to get down on the ground, even as children were inside.

Police say Neil was a suspect in 30 robberies at the time of that crime, so officers had been following him. They tried to stop him as he ran out of the BMV, then chased him into Footsteps Family Dance Center nearby, where they used their tasers, and eventually made the arrest.

Neil pleaded guilty to the BMV robbery, as well as four others at fast food restaurants and gas stations in 2011, during which he he wore masks, displayed firearms, and struck some of his victims.

Prosecutors say Neil took a break from the crime spree to compete as a body builder and work as a personal trainer.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed that no more charges would be pursued in any additional robberies in which Neil was allegedly involved, unless a victim was seriously hurt. Prosecutors also indicated they would not protest if Neil wanted to turn himself in after the hearing at 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.

The judge, however, rejected the latter request, and revoked bond, apparently prompting Neil's attempt to flea the courtroom.

Neil is scheduled to be sentenced next month, and could face up to 40 years in prison.

When being carried to jail, Neil was heard telling the judge, "I [pleaded] to the deal... Your Honor, please! I [pleaded] to this deal because they promised me certain things."

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Reporter: Lisa Rantala
Web Producer: Ken HinesConvicted Robber Runs out of Courtroom After Plea


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