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Man who robbed Decatur restaurant sentenced to 10 years in prison

Maurice D. Cline

Maurice D. Cline


DECATUR — A man who robbed a Decatur restaurant and was tracked right back to his own bedroom by a police K-9 was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The sentence was handed down Thursday in Macon County Circuit Court after Maurice D. Cline, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery in the Nov. 12 hold-up of the Subway restaurant at 1621 E. Eldorado St. In a plea deal negotiated by his public defender, Michelle Sanders, four additional armed robbery charges were dismissed, according to court records.

Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott said legal rules do not allow him to comment on the disposition of a juvenile accomplice who was also arrested in the case.

Cline previously pleaded not guilty to all charges but changed his mind at Thursday’s hearing. A sworn Decatur police affidavit described Cline and his juvenile partner as having their plans go awry almost from the moment they walked into the restaurant. Cline was recognized by a witness when he strode behind the counter just after 4 p.m. and pointed a silver-colored revolver at the employee and said: “‘You’re beautiful; we can do this the easy way or the hard way,’” said the affidavit from Decatur police officer Cody Rose.

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As staff stuffed sandwich bags with cash, Rose said the witness recognized Cline and was able to describe how she knew him to police. Armed with this suspect information and the sensitive nose of the police dog, detectives tracked Cline to a nearby house. Rose said Cline and the juvenile were both there, and a subsequent search revealed discarded clothing worn by the robbers along with Subway bags still stuffed with cash. More dumped bank notes were found floating in a toilet bowl, and the handgun was located inside a closet.

In handing down the sentence, the court agreed to make a recommendation to the Illinois Department of Corrections that Cline receive substance abuse treatment.

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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