Holland man sentenced to 9 years in prison for armed robbery

Becky Vargo • Jun 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM

A Holland man who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to armed robbery was ordered to serve a minimum of nine years in prison when sentenced recently in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

Bradley Jon Schippers, 35, apologized for his part in an incident last summer, something he would never had done if not persuaded by another person, said his attorney.

Schippers faces up to 20 years in prison on the maximum end of his sentence. He was given credit for almost a year already served in jail.

Schippers was facing up to life in prison on the armed robbery charges and up to two years in prison for larceny in a building. His attorney, Robert Hamilton, asked Judge Karen Miedema to keep the sentence below the guidelines due to his client’s long mental health history.

Instead of the recommended 9-15 years in prison, Miedema tacked another five years to the maximum end of the sentence.

The defendant asked for mercy from the judge, noting that he didn’t live up to the merciful sentence she gave him the last time, but that he would this time.

“I could show within 2-3 years I can be a responsible person,” he said.

Schippers was charged with two felony counts stemming from an alleged armed robbery attempt at the Minit Mart in Washington Square in Holland on July 3, 2016, and an alleged larceny at the same store the day prior. 

Police said Schippers robbed a store employee at knifepoint and fled on a bicycle on July 3. Officers obtained a suspect description and video from a security camera and connected the suspect to a larceny at the same store on July 2.

After sharing the video images with city and county law enforcement, several officers recognized the suspect as someone who had recent contact with authorities, and they were able to confirm the suspect’s identity through local records.

A Holland Department of Public Safety officer located Schippers riding a bike on Ottawa Avenue and arrested him. The bike he was on matched the description given by the caller, and some of the stolen money was recovered.

Schippers was also arraigned on an unrelated misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge at the time. His criminal history includes convictions for larceny, drugs, alcohol and assault.

The Holland Sentinel contributed to this story.

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