Bally’s Atlantic City Casino Robber Heading to Prison for Eight Years

Posted on: April 27, 2022, 02:43h. 

Last updated on: April 27, 2022, 04:00h.

A New Jersey man has been sentenced to prison for eight years for an attempted armed robbery of a slot player. The incident took place at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino in 2020.

New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin
New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, pictured above. He announced a confessed casino robber will be heading to prison. (Image: New Jersey Globe)

Shawn P. Applewhite, 25, of Marlton, was sentenced this week and will not be eligible for parole until he serves at least seven years of the sentence, Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Donna M. Taylor announced on Monday. Applewhite also must never enter another casino in the state. Nor can he have future contact with the victim, the judge ordered.

The sentence came after Applewhite plead guilty to first-degree robbery on March 21. Last August, he was indicted by a grand jury on both first-degree robbery as well as third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose charges. The second charge appeared to have been dropped.

On the original robbery charge, Applewhite faced between 10 to 20 years in prison. He could have been fined up to $150,000.

The weapon possession charge could have led to three to five years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $15,000.

The incident took place on Dec. 23, 2020, when Applewhite approached the victim from behind. The victim was seated in front of a slot machine.

Used Box Cutter

Applewhite then allegedly placed a box cutter to the victim’s neck and demanded money and jewelry. But the victim stood up and soon got into a struggle with the robber, later identified as Applewhite.

The victim defended himself and never turned over anything to Applewhite, authorities said. Applewhite soon fled.

A casino security guard and supervisor apprehended him as he headed toward the gaming floor exit. Another casino-goer also tried to intervene.

When announcing the sentence, New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin called the prison time “significant.”

Dangerous, Brazen Crime

“The armed defendant ambushed his victim in a public venue, creating an alarming and dangerous situation for everyone present,” Platkin said in a statement.

Division of Criminal Justice Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo further called the crime “brazen and unlawful conduct.”

“We’re sending a message that this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated,” the recently appointed director added.