Uptown Drug gunman Bauer gets 21 years

KINGMAN - A Golden Valley man will serve 21 years in prison for felony armed robbery and two counts of attempted second degree murder.

Cordon Ree Bauer II, 36, attempted to withdraw his guilty plea Monday morning, saying he felt he was pressured into the agreement.

Superior Court Judge James Chavez did not feel the explanation was enough to negate the plea agreement Bauer had with the County Attorney's Office and continued with the sentencing hearing.

On Dec. 1, 2006, Bauer attempted to rob the Uptown Drug Store on Highway 68 in Golden Valley of drugs. When Mohave County Sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene, Bauer shot at them with a handgun. Deputies returned fire and hit Bauer at least five times.

Bauer's wife, Angela G. Bauer, was originally charged as an accomplice to the attempted robbery. The charges were later dropped when Cordon Bauer agreed to a plea agreement with the County Attorney's Office.

Angela and Cordon often stole glances at each other during the hearing.

"He's just a regular person," said Billy Sipe, Cordon Bauer's attorney. Bauer had a steady work and family history. He helped his parents and helped the neighborhood children with their dirt bikes.

Bauer also did not have violent felony record, Sipe said. The last two felony charges against Bauer were 10 years ago and involved misconduct with a weapon and theft.

Bauer was also on a lot of prescription medications, some of them pain medications for a number of injuries and illnesses he had had throughout his life, Sipe said. He was trying to get off of the medications when he attempted to rob the store.

Bauer broke into the store through the air conditioning vents, then waited in the ceiling until the pharmacist and several employees entered the building. He then dropped out of the ceiling and demanded drugs from the pharmacist.

The pharmacist described Bauer as acting "squirrelly" and irrationally during the incident, Sipe said. Bauer was not asking for pain medications but other drugs that did not make sense. Bauer did not take anything from the store.

Bauer denied shooting at the deputies or the employees, Sipe said. No one was hit by any bullets except Bauer. The only bullet the Kingman Police Department, which investigated the shooting, found from Bauer's gun was in the lower front bumper of a deputy's vehicle.

"In fact, KPD doesn't know where the other bullets (from Bauer's gun) went," Sipe said. "It's pretty amazing that things weren't shot up."

Sipe also found it hard to believe that after Bauer's "squirrelly" behavior inside the store that Bauer could aim and shoot straight at a deputy. While Bauer did bring a weapon to the robbery, he did not intend to use it, Sipe said. And there was no evidence that Bauer was aiming to shoot a specific officer.

"He understands what he did was wrong," Sipe said, and asked for the minimum of 15 years listed in the plea agreement.

"It wasn't just a walk in the park," said County Attorney Jace Zack, who countered Sipe's arguments.

Zack, MCSO Sgt. Dean McKie, Detective Larry Matthews, Detective Sgt. Randy McNally painted a different picture of the attempted robbery.

Matthews was the first officer on the scene. He spoke with the pharmacist and other employees in the store and said they were extremely scared of Bauer.

When Bauer left the store shooting, Matthews found himself unprepared.

"All I had was my radio," he said. "I took off running."

"I physically saw him shoot at an officer," McKie said. McKie was the second officer to respond to the shooting and was still in his vehicle when Bauer shot at him, striking the bumper of the vehicle.

"I didn't choose to go to work that day to shoot Bauer," he said.

McNally said the pharmacist and other store employees were terrified when he spoke with them at the scene.

"He made the decision to break into the store, fire at officers, with his wife there," McNally said.

"I guess we were lucky that day. There were more bullets in the air that day then they would have you believe," McNally said, referring to Sipe's comments that no one was injured in the attempted robbery except Bauer. "I have to deal with the victims every day."

Angela Bauer objected to McNally's interpretation of events. Through her attorney Sandra Carr, she denied her involvement in the attempted robbery.

"She was trying to get her husband out of the situation," Carr said. Angela Bauer declined to say anything further about the incident.

Cordon Bauer took a loaded gun with the intent to use it, Zack said. He could have gone without a gun or without a loaded gun.

"It was a calculated series of events," Zack said. Bauer disassembled the air conditioning unit on the roof in order to get into the store. He dropped feet first out of the ceiling. The pharmacist was scared because Bauer was acting strangely and didn't seem to have a plan.

"This was a major armed robbery, a major offense," Zack said. "This is not a regular guy."

"I apologize to the court for having to be here today," Bauer wrote in a letter to the court. "There is no excuse for what I did."

He also apologized to the officers involved in the shooting and asked for the mercy of the court.

"I had no option to surrender," Bauer told the court Monday. "I was fired at right out of the door. There's a lot of inconsistencies in the case. I wish I had taken it to trial."

He asked why only the officers and none of the other victims had come to court today to testify against him.

"I know what I did was wrong and I'm guilty of that, but there are things I did not do," he said.

"This was not a minor matter," Chavez said. "There is no way to change the facts."

Chavez then sentenced Bauer to 10.5 years in prison for the attempted armed robbery charge and 10.5 years each for the two attempted second-degree murder charges. The two attempted second-degree murder charges will run concurrently with each other and consecutively with the attempted armed robbery charge.