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Aggravated robbery case to go before grand jury

February 03, 1998

By AMY WALLAUER

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man charged with aggravated robbery was bound over to a grand jury Tuesday.

The charge against Evan Sears, 20, of 605 State Circle, stems from the Jan. 2 robbery of Antonio Feliciano at knifepoint, as Feliciano was returning home from the store with medicine for his sick child. A grand jury will determine if there is enough evidence against Sears for indictment.

At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Feliciano said he was walking from his car to his apartment at 401 East Road when a man asked him for a light.

"I held a lighter out for him and I got cracked in the head with a pipe," Feliciano told Magistrate Joan Bragg.

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Feliciano said he was grabbed by the shirt and thrown down in the snow by a second man. The first man pulled a knife, he said.

"The guy took a knife and held it to my throat and said, 'If you don't give me your money ... I'm gonna cut you,'" Feliciano testified.

One man pulled off his leather coat - a Christmas present from his wife - while the other grabbed his wallet, Feliciano said. He was kicked a few times before both men fled.

Feliciano called police from a neighbor's apartment. A week or two later, he picked Sears from a picture lineup, Martinsburg City Police said.

A second person has not been apprehended.

Sears has been in the Eastern Regional Jail since his arrest.

A conviction on a charge of aggravated robbery carries a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

Sears faces other charges stemming from another robbery last month.

Sears was charged with armed robbery, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with a Jan. 9 holdup at a house on the 400 block of Porter Avenue.

The criminal complaint stated he was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine on March 19, 1996, in Washington County, Md., circuit court.

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