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Man Who Robbed for Drug Money Gets 7-Year Term

Despite his emotional pleas for mercy, a Reseda man who was charged with robbing seven San Fernando Valley convenience stores to support his drug habit was sentenced Thursday to seven years in state prison by a San Fernando Superior Court judge.

According to court documents, Gabor Frank Magyari, 30, stole more than $1,600 from seven small convenience stores between October, 1988, and this January.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery. Two other counts were dismissed, prosecutors said.

Judge John A. Major rejected pleas by Magyari, his mother and stepfather and his lawyer, who asked “in the name of mercy” that Major “punish the sin and not the sinner” by placing Magyari in a long-term drug rehabilitation program instead of prison.

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Magyari told the judge he began smoking marijuana at age 13 and was hooked on drugs by 20. Choking on tears, Magyari said he now wants to get a fresh start on life by kicking the habit.

But Major said Magyari had exercised his “free will” in using drugs and robbing stores. “You have to be punished. You have to learn that you cannot go through life sticking a gun in someone’s face, robbing them of their hard-earned money,” Major said.

Magyari probably will be paroled in about three years, Major said.


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