Man pleads guilty to gunpoint robbery in Park City
A Kamas man on Monday pleaded guilty to robbing a Main Street restaurant in March, reaching an agreement with prosecutors in a case that involved a rare criminal act involving a gun on the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.
Christopher Schutte, who is 47 years old, pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court at Silver Summit to a count of robbery, which is a second-degree felony, and a charge of attempted aggravated burglary, also a second-degree felony. The two charges were reduced from more serious ones – first-degree felony counts of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary — as a result of the plea agreement. Prosecutors dismissed a count of unlawful detention as part of the deal.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 3. Second-degree felonies are punishable by a prison sentence of between one and 15 years and a $10,000 fine.
Ryan Stack, a prosecutor in the Summit County Attorney’s Office, said he had not yet crafted a sentencing recommendation by the middle of the week. He praised the Park City Police Department investigation that led to the charges against Schutte.
In a charging document, the prosecutors said the gunpoint robbery occurred at 11 a.m. on March 27, which was Easter. Schutte robbed an employee of Flanagan’s on Main. The prosecutors said he entered the restaurant before it was open and ordered an employee at gunpoint to unlock a cooler and give him the keys. Schutte told the employee to get inside the cooler, the prosecutors said.
The charging document says Schutte stole expensive champagne and wine valued at between $1,500 and $5,000. Flanagan’s on Main indicated Schutte was a former employee who had been fired, the prosecutors said.
A drug task force involving law enforcement agencies along the Wasatch Back found Schutte four days later at a hotel in the Kimball Junction area. The authorities found the gun, a coat matching the one worn by the suspect at the restaurant and bottles of wine or champagne, the prosecutors said. The police found the keys that had been taken from the Flanagan’s on Main employee in Schutte’s vehicle, according to the charging document.
Schutte’s court-appointed attorney, Joseph Barrett, declined to comment about the pleas, saying he would not make a statement since the sentencing has not occurred.
The Park City Police Department continues to investigate a series of vehicle burglaries in the overnight hours between Monday and Tuesday, indicating most of the cases were on the same street in Old Town.