Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced today that a Burlington County man has been sentenced to prison for threatening a casino patron with a box cutter during a robbery attempt at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City in December 2020.
According to Acting Attorney General Platkin, Shawn P. Applewhite, 25, of Marlton, was sentenced to eight years in state prison – including nearly seven years of parole ineligibility – by Superior Court Judge Donna M. Taylor in Atlantic County on Monday.
Additionally, Applewhite was ordered to have no contact with the victim and is permanently barred from all casinos in New Jersey. Applewhite pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery on March 21.
“The armed defendant ambushed his victim in a public venue, creating an alarming and dangerous situation for everyone present,” Acting Attorney General Platkin said.
“The significant prison sentence announced today underscores our commitment to public safety.”
According to officials, on December 23, 2020, at approximately 7:35 p.m., Applewhite attempted to rob the victim by placing a box cutter to the victim’s neck and demanding the victim’s money and jewelry.
Applewhite approached the victim from behind as he was seated at a slot machine. The victim stood up and engaged in a physical altercation with Applewhite.
A bystander also attempted to intervene, and Applewhite fled without taking any property.
Officials stated that Applewhite was apprehended by a Bally’s security supervisor and security officer as he attempted to exit the casino.
“The Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau works closely with the State Police to investigate and prosecute crimes committed at the Atlantic City casinos, especially those that threaten the safety of patrons on the casino floors,” Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice said.
“Today, this defendant is reaping the consequences of his brazen and unlawful conduct, and we’re sending a message that this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated.”