Serial robber gets 10 years

Ernest Lee Dean

A serial robber who held up a Cannon Beach hotel at gunpoint was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Ernest Lee Dean, 44, pointed a handgun at hotel clerk Orlo Baldwin at the Stephanie Inn in January 2014 and forced him to hand over almost $7,000 in cash.

After ordering Baldwin to lay on his stomach, Dean zip-tied Baldwin’s hands behind his back and left him on the floor. Baldwin, an elderly man, testified Tuesday in Clatsop County Circuit Court that he was scared for his life, but that Dean gave him a reassuring pat on the back before leaving.

“The defendant, with great humanity, patted me on the back as if to say, ‘It’ll be OK old man,’” Baldwin said. “I hold no animosity toward him.”

Baldwin left the courtroom soon after testifying, but Dean said later — while not fully admitting to the crime — that he had “unconditional empathy” for Baldwin.

Dean, who was arrested in Portland in February 2014 after an investigation that involved police in Cannon Beach, was responsible for an armed robbery spree at several hotels and is serving a 25-year prison sentence handed down in Multnomah County.

Judge Paula Brownhill ruled that Dean’s 10-year sentence for the Cannon Beach robbery will be added to the Multnomah County penalty. Dean was convicted of first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping and felon in possession of a firearm.

“Based on the facts of the case, it is clear the defendant’s intent was to commit more than one offense, and the defendant created a risk of qualitatively different harm or injury to the victim,” Deputy District Attorney Steve Chamberlin wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

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