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Man gets 8 years in armed robbery

February 02, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

The last of three people charged in a series of violent armed robberies around Hagerstown last May was sentenced to serve eight years in prison Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Matthew Justin Luipersbeck, 17, of Falling Waters, W.Va., pleaded guilty in November to one count of armed robbery.

Judge John H. McDowell imposed a 15-year sentence, suspending seven years. Probation will be three years when he is released, court records said.

Originally charged as a juvenile, Luipersbeck, then 16, 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 last 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 court records.

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.

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Then, at 6:47 a.m., as an employee of Washington County Hospital was walking toward her office in the 200 block of East Antietam Street, a man ran up behind her and hit her on the head, police said.

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.

The woman 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.

Luipersbeck and one of the other two defendants were spotted by police a few days later in Hagerstown.

The two lesser players in the armed robbery spree were each sentenced to five years in prison last November.

Ashley Renee Wilcox, 18, of Falling Waters, W.Va., pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, admitting to McDowell that she was the getaway driver.

Sterling Olin White Jr., 25, of 1062 Wayne Ave., pleaded guilty to robbery. Charges of armed robbery, theft and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault were dropped in exchange for the plea in November.

White's five-year term will be served when he completes a four-year sentence on unrelated charges that he is serving at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.

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