Mental evaluation delays sentencing

The sentencing of a Columbus man initially accused of committing an armed robbery at a southeast Columbus service station last summer has been placed on hold indefinitely.

Trevor James Sebastian, 20, of 805 Cottage Ave., who originally was charged with armed robbery as a Level 3 felony, appeared Dec. 3 before Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Stephen Heimann.

If convicted of the original charge, Sebastian could be ordered to serve three to 16 years in prison.

However, the judge is being asked to approve an Oct. 26 plea agreement that allows Sebastian to plead guilty to a lesser charge of robbery as a Level 5 felony — which calls for one to six years behind bars.

Heimann continued the sentencing hearing until an unspecified date to allow Sebastian to undergo a mental health evaluation for possible anxiety, depression and possible post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sebastian is the nephew of Aaron T. Cross, one of four people murdered in Waynesville in May 2013. Samuel E. Sallee is serving four consecutive life sentences for those killings.

In another incident that Cross’ widow, Kelly, described as devastating for the family, Sebastian’s grand- father and Aaron Cross’ father, Alton L. Cross, died at the age of 63 three months after the killings.

The judge, who also said he wants to know if a special concussion evaluation needs to take place, is expected to reschedule the sentencing after Sebastian is evaluated for both mental health and possible substance abuse issues, court officials said.

The defendant admitted robbing the Marathon service station at the corner of State Street and Gladstone Avenue during the early morning hours July 31, police said.

While investigators said they believe Sebastian had a weapon, police reports state he did not display one before taking an undisclosed amount of money and driving off from the scene.

The clerk, who was not injured, was not fluent in English, and did not report the robbery until about six hours later, Columbus Police spokesman Sgt. Matt Harris said.

Nevertheless, investigators were able to use a partial plate number to track down Sebastian and arrest him at his home about 10 hours after the robbery.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.