Man who crashed through downtown Columbia church sentenced

Monday, January 23, 2012 | 7:42 p.m. CST; updated 1:47 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CORRECTION: This story has been altered to correct the details of Robinson's sentence.

COLUMBIA —The Columbia man who drove his car through the front of First Presbyterian Church last February was sentenced Monday to *30 days of shock detention in the Boone County Jail and two years' unsupervised probation.

Scott Robinson, 22, was charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a law enforcement officer, first-degree property damage and driving while intoxicated. He was attempting to flee a Columbia police officer when he drove into the church's lobby.

Robinson pleaded guilty to three of those charges; the assault charge was filed because Robinson backed into an officer's squad car before fleeing, but that charge was dismissed Monday by Judge Jodie Asel.

At the time of the accident, about 60 people were inside the church. No one was injured, according to previous Missourian reports.

Asel said her sentencing decision was influenced by the compassion of the church, whose members wanted Robinson to have a second chance. The judge noted Robinson had paid restitution for the property damage to the church.

But Robinson was warned that if he stepped out of line, he would serve the suspended sentence of six months in jail for the DUI charge. He was also ordered to attend a victim's panel and meet other conditions of his probation.

"It was a horrendous, absolutely horrible event that occurred. … If anything remotely like it happens again, you're going to prison," Asel said.

Adam Dowling, Robinson's attorney, said Robinson was a model for probation because he is a student at Columbia College, has been continuously employed and attends church.


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