OKEECHOBEE — David Gardener was sentenced to four years in state prison after pleading no contest to the charge of robbery while wearing a mask. A second charge, home invasion, was dropped. Gardener was arrested in May 2019 after he and two associates, Aaron Hill and Michael Wayne Cheney, allegedly broke into a home occupied by a man, woman and two children and robbed them at knife-point.
According to the arrest report, the trio stayed in the home for approximately 30 minutes before Hill said, “I can’t do this,” and went out the back door.
When the other two left the house, Hill was waiting for them and when they stopped to divide the money, Hill grabbed the money and ran several blocks until coming into contact with law enforcement and turning himself in. It was later learned that Hill was a roommate of the victims’.
Hill reportedly told officers he received a call from Cheney and Gardener saying they wanted to rob Hill’s roommate. Hill met them at the back door of the residence and was given a black hoodie and bandanna to cover his face. Hill claimed he was not armed but the other two men carried knives and a gun.
Hill’s case is still awaiting trial.
Cheney entered a plea of no contest to the charge of robbery while wearing a mask in November of 2019 and was released on his own recognizance to await sentencing. He has not been sentenced yet.