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2 charged in motel robbery

June 11, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A telephone call thwarted getaway plans for two armed robbers Tuesday night at the Krista Lite Motel, but not before a newly hired night clerk was sexually assaulted, according to authorities.

Elijah Muhammad Green, 19, of Martinsburg, was charged with armed robbery and aiding and abetting first-degree sexual assault.

Eugene Lamar "Chico" Jackson, 19, of 421 Swatra St., Steelton, Pa., was charged with armed robbery, first-degree sexual assault, fleeing and eluding police and being a fugitive from justice from Washington County, Md., on a narcotics possession charge.

Two gunmen, one with a 12-gauge shotgun, the other with a chrome-plated handgun, held up two motel employees at about 10:18 p.m., according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

The men took $324.76 from the register, then forced a clerk, who was working her first night shift, into a linen storage area, authorities said.

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One man, who was wearing surgical gloves, assaulted the woman while holding a handgun to her throat, according to authorities. The other acted as a lookout, the criminal complaint alleges.

"They took us all by surprise because we've been here 18 years and never had a problem," said Nancy Lillis, co-owner of the motel, which is just yards from Exit 12 off Interstate 81 on W.Va. 45.

The gunmen weren't aware Lillis' mother-in-law, Patsy Murphy, was staying in one of the rooms. She phoned her family, who called authorities. The gunmen found Murphy and took her into the office with two employees, Lillis said.

When police arrived, the gunmen fled. Martinsburg City Police K-9 units found them hiding in thick brush.

One of the men was apprehended west of I-81 at about 10:40 p.m. and the other was found about an hour later, police said.

In the criminal complaint against Jackson, the sheriff's department alleges that he was handcuffed and being placed in a patrol car when he wriggled free and ran.

The clerk was treated at City Hospital and released.

"She really kept her cool and handled herself really well," said Lillis, who said she talked to the woman briefly Wednesday. "She wants to forget this ever happened."

Authorities said a Ford Expedition recovered at the scene was reported stolen in Steelton.

Green was being held on $100,000 bond. Jackson was being held on $155,000 bond.

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