OKEECHOBEE — After entering a no contest plea to the charge of robbery, Michael De La Cruz was sentenced to one year, two months and two days in county jail.
De La Cruz was originally charged with two counts aggravated battery with a weapon, robbery with a weapon and robbery. The battery charges and the robbery with a weapon charge were later dropped.
De La Cruz was arrested in January of 2020 after he was accused of forcibly taking a wallet and money from someone. In the course of the robbery, he reportedly carried a knife and/or a baseball bat.
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Jose Garcia responded to Raulerson Hospital in reference to a stabbing on Oct. 26, 2019. The victim told him he and a friend were talking near La Fiesta Supermarket when two women drove up and asked if they needed any services. When they said no, two men, carrying a knife and a baseball bat, got out of the vehicle and one of the women, who introduced herself as Dulce, ordered them to take the wallets and money from the men. The victims said they were hit on the legs and back with the bat, and one of the men was stabbed.
Detective Matt Crawford led the investigation and was able to identify the four assailants.
Dulce, later identified as Erminia Meras, entered a no contest plea to two charges of second degree robbery without a weapon. She was sentenced to three years, 10 months and 24 days in state prison.
The second woman, later identified as Jessica Pinon entered a no contest plea to two charges of robbery and was sentenced to one year in county jail followed by five years probation.
The second man was identified as Bob Miranda but was never charged.