Teen pleads guilty in armed robbery case

November 15, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

The first of three people charged in a series of particularly violent armed robberies around Hagerstown on May 12 appeared in Washington County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Matthew Justin Luipersbeck, 16, of Falling Waters, W.Va., pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery.

The teen was returned to jail without bond to await sentencing. He could get up to 20 years in prison. Judge John H. McDowell ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

Originally charged as a juvenile, Luipersbeck already was facing numerous counts of robbery, second-degree assault and theft in connection with the robberies.

When Hagerstown City Police added the count of armed robbery in June, Luipersbeck's case automatically was sent to adult court.

A Haven Road incident was the first of three robberies on May 12, according to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum.


It occurred at 2:45 a.m., when a man out walking was hit in the head with a stick and robbed, according to police reports.

The next incident happened when an employee of Washington County Hospital was walking toward her office in the 200 block of East Antietam Street at 6:47 a.m. A man ran up behind her and hit her in the head, police said.

The woman, who gave police a description of her attacker, was not seriously hurt.

At 8:05 a.m. in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Wesel Boulevard, a man of similar description ran up behind a female employee as she approached the store, pushed her down and took her purse.

That victim got the license-plate number of the car in which her assailant rode away, and a witness got in his vehicle and followed the car to the West Virginia border, police said.

The apprehension of Luipersbeck came a few days later in Hagerstown, when he and one of the other two defendants were spotted by police.

Sterling Olin White Jr., 25, of Hagerstown., is charged with armed robbery, numerous counts of robbery, theft and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault.

The third defendant, Ashley Renee Wilcox, 18, of 608 High Cliff Road, Falling Waters, is accused of being the getaway driver in three May 12 robberies.

Wilcox, 17 when the robberies occurred, originally was charged as a juvenile when her car was found in Martinsburg, W.Va.

She was later charged with as an adult with armed robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, theft, second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit assault.

Both White and Wilcox are scheduled for trial on Nov. 19. They are being held at the Washington County Detention Center.

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