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Teen sentenced in store robbery

January 15, 1998

Teen sentenced in store robbery

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

More than a year after the armed robbery of the Conococheague Grocery near Clear Spring, a Baltimore teenager was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison.

Rodney Allen Wright, 17, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery before Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell.

After he is released from prison, Wright will be on probation for three years. He was ordered to pay $1,000 as his share of restitution, according to Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion.

Two others charged in the Jan. 5, 1997, armed robbery of the store are scheduled for trial Feb. 24.

Joseph E. Hoyle and Sam Christopher Hacker, both 16, have been in custody since their arrests shortly after the robbery.

Wright also had been in jail more than a year awaiting trial, Cirincion said.

Court records showed that Wright had his first exposure to Washington County when he was committed to the Oak Hill House for troubled teens near Clear Spring in late 1996 on an unrelated matter.

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He ran away from the facility on Dec. 31, 1996, and later stole a car, ending up back in Baltimore, court records said.

It was there he met up with several other youths, and together they stole another vehicle and began a series of robberies and thefts that led them back to Washington County on Jan. 5, 1997, court records said.

Maryland State Police said two ski-masked robbers entered the grocery at 14845 National Pike in Clear Spring, displayed handguns to the two clerks and demanded money.

A third person remained in the getaway car, court records said.

The charges against the three included armed robbery, two counts of first-degree assault, using a handgun in the commission of a felony, theft of $2,901, and conspiracy to commit robbery.

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