Man who robbed store with meat cleaver sentenced to prison

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – A 47-year-old man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for using a meat cleaver to rob a smoke shop and convenience store in St. Joseph.

Nick Avila of St. Joseph was sentenced Friday after pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree attempted robbery, which carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. Buchanan County Circuit Judge Patrick Robb ordered Avila to serve 12 years.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports Avila admitted he used a meat cleaver to threaten a clerk during a robbery Jan. 11 at MSA Smoke Shop and Groceries. The clerk wasn’t injured.

Avila said he took cash, a carton of cigarettes and a soda.

Avila originally was charged with first-degree robbery.