DANVERS — A Danvers man who told police someone else made him hold up a convenience store over the Labor Day weekend will spend a year in jail after pleading guilty yesterday.
Daniel Lavalla, 36, of 6 Jacobs Landing, pleaded guilty in Salem District Court to a charge of larceny from a person in the Sept. 1 holdup at Country Farms convenience store on Maple Street (Route 62). He had originally been facing an armed robbery charge.
Prosecutor Michael Varone said in court yesterday that Lavalla walked into the store and asked for lottery tickets, then handed the clerk a note. The note said that if the clerk did not hand over money, he would be shot.
The holdup netted Lavalla $12.
The clerk was able to see the rear plate of Lavalla’s truck as it pulled away, and police caught up with Lavalla within an hour of the holdup.
Lavalla said he had been ordered to commit the holdup.
Under a plea agreement worked out between prosecutors and defense attorney Neil Hourihan, Judge Matthew Machera sentenced Lavalla to 21/2 years in jail but suspended all but one year of the term. After Lavalla is released, he will be on probation for three years.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.