Topeka man pleads guilty to Health Club robbery

TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) A Topeka man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges he robbed a health club where he once worked.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister says Lesley Jamar Terrell, Jr., 33, pleaded guilty to one count of robbery.

In his plea, he admitted that on Nov. 24, 2017, he and another man robbed the Genesis Health Club at 2909 Southwest 37th Street in Topeka.

A Genesis employee came upon the two defendants in the lobby of the business while they were attempting to pry open a box used for money deposits by members of the club.

One of the defendants told the employee the robbers did not want trouble and instructed him to wait in an adjacent room.

The robber stood in the doorway of the room with his hand in the waistband of his pants as if he had a gun. The defendants removed cash and checks from the box and then fled.

When police arrived, an employee told officers that one of the robbers resembled a former employee of the business. Investigators identified Terrell as a prior employee who worked as an overnight maintenance worker.

Sentencing is set for May 29. The parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of 28 months in federal prison.

Co-defendant George Bernard Phelps, III, 31, Topeka, Kan., is set for a plea hearing March 19.