MANKATO — A teenager involved in an armed robbery and assault near the Minnesota State University campus last summer has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.
Zeal James Ruey Nhial, 19, of Mankato, was convicted of felony aggravated robbery Monday in Blue Earth County District Court. He pleaded guilty in February and kidnapping charges were dismissed.
Nhial is the third young person convicted in the robbery of a man who was waiting at a bus stop on Briargate Road last August.
The victim told authorities three males approached him and demanded money. Two additional males then arrived and one reportedly pointed an assault-style gun at him.
The robbers then punched him, forced him into a vehicle and took his smartwatch, the man said. They drove him to an ATM and Nhial forced him to withdraw money. The man said he withdrew $100 and Nhial demanded another $200. The males left after the $200 transaction was denied, taking the man’s luggage with them.
The man walked to the MSU student union and called 911. He had blood coming from his ear and lip, and cuts on his face, according to the court complaint.
Nhial was sentenced to 58 months in prison with credit for 253 days already served in jail. He also was ordered to pay more than $1,500 in restitution.
While he was released from jail pending sentencing, Nhial was charged with felony counts of burglary and assault. He allegedly forced his way into a Mankato apartment and assaulted an occupant while intoxicated June 6.
Two other suspects previously pleaded guilty in the August robbery.
Nicholas Jamal Miller, 20, who said he was present during the robbery but did not actively participate, was sentenced in December to 44 days already served in jail and three years probation. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for probation violations. In February he was charged with criminal sexual conduct against a 15-year-old girl. Earlier this month he was charged with disorderly conduct and drug possession after he reportedly looked into windows, displayed a knife and had marijuana at a Mankato apartment complex.
Pal Mat Kueth, 17, pleaded guilty to simple robbery in juvenile court in November. He was ordered to attend a treatment program and be on probation until he turns 19.
Two other suspects who were 17 at the time and charged in juvenile court are contesting the charges: Wichong Wal Tiap and Tethloach Kueth Dojiok, who are now both 18 years old and from Mankato.
Felony charges against juveniles ages 16 and older are public information.