Jeffrey Wade King

Jeffrey Wade King, foreground, enters Gallatin County District Court on Monday to plead guilty to a felony robbery charge.

A day before his jury trial was scheduled to start, a man pleaded guilty to robbing a Bozeman massage business at gunpoint in June 2018.

Jeffrey Wade King is charged with felony robbery. He appeared in Gallatin County District Court on Monday before Judge Holly Brown.

King was released after the hearing.

At his sentencing on April 7, prosecutors will recommend that King receive a 10-year suspended sentence with the Montana Department of Corrections. Prosecutors will also recommend that King pay restitution, if any is requested, and be given credit for 229 days served in the Gallatin County jail.

In June 2018, Bozeman police responded to Health Care Massage on West Oak Street for a report of a robbery in progress. A detective found that King had entered the business wearing a mask, pointed a gun at employees and slipped a note typed in Mandarin that said he was robbing the place, according to charging documents.

King wrote that he didn’t want to shoot anyone and asked employees to give him money, court documents say. The note also informed employees to surrender their phones, take off their clothes and sit against a wall in a back room of the business.

“Be quiet and do not make a sound. Do not use your phone,” King wrote. “I do not want to hurt you.”

King took $200 and three employees’ cellphones before leaving, court documents said.

Officers arrested King a day after the robbery.

King told officers that he had gone to Health Care Massage on the day of the incident to see if it was open but denied any involvement in the robbery.

Police said in charging documents that officers found a camouflage bandana, a plastic bag with zip ties, rubber gloves and two guns with missing serial numbers in King’s car. Officers also found an improvised explosive devise in the center console of his car, court documents said.

In court on Monday, King admitted that he used a note to threaten people inside the massage parlor with a gun. He also agreed that he left the business with cash.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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