A Fort Wayne man sentenced for taking a Steak 'n Shake employee's cellphone last November told the court he was in "a really dark place."
Nelson E. Mix, 31, of the 1200 block of Fairfield Avenue, was sentenced Monday in Allen Superior Court to serve six months in the Allen County Jail for theft, a Level 6 felony, as well as two years on probation afterward.
A robbery charge was dismissed against Mix.
Mix pleaded guilty April 17 and admitted he armed himself with a piece of glass when he approached a restaurant employee who had gone out the back door for a cigarette break and ordered the employee to give him his cellphone, which the employee did.
Mix then ordered the employee back into the business and told the employee he wanted to take money from the restaurant without hurting anyone. Once inside the restaurant, the employee grabbed a large knife from a counter in the kitchen area and ordered Mix to return his phone and leave the restaurant. Mix then fled the restaurant without returning the phone, the probable-cause affidavit said.
Mix told the court, "I was in a really dark place," regarding his mental-health and substance abuse issues, and defense and prosecution attorneys agreed.
Defense attorney Michelle Kraus said Mix had undergone genetic testing and had finally gotten the right medications. She had asked Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck for Mix to be placed in the Recovery Works program.
Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Stineburg also asked that Mix receive help for mental-health and substance abuse issues. Surbeck accepted the terms of the plea agreement, and ordered Mix to abstain from alcohol and drugs, except for prescription medications.
Mix has 90 days' jail credit.