WILKES-BARRE — Facing a decade behind bars, Sean Patrick Flavin apologized to his victims Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to a 2012 holdup at a city movie theater.
With his admission, Flavin also spared his victims the stress of a trial, First Assistant District Attorney Samuel Sanguedolce said.
“You could tell by his demeanor in the courtroom, he seemed to be truly sorry,” Sanguedolce said.
Flavin, 34, with a last known address of Regent Street, pleaded guilty to one felony count of robbery Tuesday in his appearance before Judge Fred Pierantoni. Three other counts were withdrawn.
According to police, Flavin confronted clerk Colin Henry at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2012, as Henry left the ticket office at R/C Movies 14 on East Northampton Street in the city.
Henry, at the end of his shift, was carrying a bag of money when he was confronted by a man in plaid shorts, gray “Army” T-shirt and black baseball cap, later identified as Flavin.
“Give me the money,” Flavin said as he pointed a handgun at Henry, according to police.
Flavin grabbed the bag and fled, police said, warning Henry, “Don’t watch me go.”
City police said Lydia Naperkowski recognized the person in a picture released to the media after the heist as Flavin, who had been sleeping on her couch. Naperkowski told police that when she saw the defendant’s picture on the news, she called him and asked what he had done.
“Flavin told Naperkowski the news was wrong because the news said he had a silver gun, when in fact his gun was black,” according to the affidavit. Flavin then told Naperkowski he did not want to talk on the phone and would speak with her in several days, police said, and later texted Naperkowski, telling her not to discuss anything.
Naperkowski turned over to police a money bag she found under her child’s playpen, and Henry identified it as the money bag taken from him, according to an affidavit. Clothing found at her home also was identified as appearing to be that worn by Flavin during the robbery.
The gun was not recovered, according to court documents. If found, the court has ordered it will be destroyed.
Flavin was captured days later in Connecticut, following a standoff at a farmhouse. Flavin lived in Connecticut before moving to Florida in the early 2000s.
Under a plea agreement accepted by Pierantoni, Flavin will face 5 to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 7.
Flavin also must pay $1,263.75 to the theater.
Noting that Flavin “did seem genuinely sorry,” Sanguedolce said the victims will have the chance to address the court, if they choose, when Flavin is sentenced.