Man sentenced for thefts at knifepoint

LISBON – Shane Blake, the Salem man accused of robbing five people at knifepoint on two separate occasions, was sentenced in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court to three years in prison on Thursday for two counts of aggravated robbery.

Blake, 25, East Fifth Street, owned up to what he did during a hearing Thursday before Judge Scott Washam.

“I made some bad choices I really regret,” Blake said. “I’m really a better person than that.”

His attorney, Doug King did not try to dissuade Washam from following the three-year prison sentence recommendation of Assistant County Prosecutor Tammy Riley Jones. Instead, King said Blake’s actions at that time were “driven by addiction,” which King said is not making an excuse, but merely providing an explanation.

Washam said he looked at Blake’s pre-sentencing investigation and it would appear to him he began using drugs in about 2007. Prior to that Blake was reportedly a good high school student, but dropped out of college about that time. He also reportedly has lost two jobs due to attendance issues.

“Not only did you use a weapon, but you terrorized five people with a knife,” Washam said of Blake’s actions prior to sentencing.

Blake was sentenced after he pleaded guilty in October to the two charges of aggravated robbery, which reportedly happened last spring.

According to court documents on March 20, Blake approached Mary and Garry Shasteen near the intersection of West Ninth Street and North Howard Avenue in Salem. He demanded Mr. Shasteen’s wallet, assaulted him and threatened to stab them both with a knife.

Less than a week later on March 27, Blake blocked a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier at the intersection of Apple Street and Marion Avenue in Perry Township. With a knife in his hand, he approached the vehicle, which was driven by Kaitlyn Dillon with occupants Shane Alesi and Katie Niswonger. Blake then demanded any money the occupants had in the vehicle.

The victims in the cases did not appear on Thursday.