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Purse snatching, robberies earn man 15 years in prison

December 13, 1999|By BRENDAN KIRBY

A Hagerstown man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday for two robberies and a purse snatching this summer.

Christopher Winkey Crudup, 31, of 160 W. Washington St., pleaded guilty to robbing BJ's Market and the Friendly Cafe in Hagerstown on Aug. 9 .

In exchange for his pleas, lesser charges were dropped.

Crudup entered an Alford plea in the third offense, a misdemeanor theft charge arising from a purse snatching on July 22.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to convict him.

Washington County Circuit Court Judge John H. McDowell gave Crudup a 15-year sentence with five years suspended for the B.J. Market armed robbery. He also sentenced Crudup to five years, to be served consecutively, for the Friendly Cafe charge, which was simple robbery.

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The purse snatching carried an 18-month sentence, which will be served concurrently.

Defense attorney John Chillas said Crudup has long been addicted to crack cocaine.

"He was basically out there trying to feed a habit, and unfortunately chose a very, very bad way to do that," he said.

Crudup, who moved to Hagerstown from his native New York, told McDowell he needs help to kick drugs.

"I would like to apologize and say I'm sorry it happened," he said. "I want to get some help with my problem."

According to police reports read by Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion, a man pulled a gun at BJ's Market and demanded an employee open the cash register. He and a female accomplice stole the money along with the employee's wallet and a hand-held scanner.

A witness identified the woman, who told police she committed the crime with a man she knew as "Wink."

Crudup was tied to another robbery that occurred on Aug. 9. at The Friendly Cafe on 231 W. Franklin St., Cirincion said.

A man with a gun and another man later identified as Crudup stole $900 from a cash register.

The purse snatching occurred on July 22 between 11:45 p.m. and midnight. A man and a woman waited outside of the Halfway Food Lion and the man grabbed the purse of a woman who came out of the supermarket.

The victim identified Crudup from a photograph, Cirincion said.

In addition to the prison time, McDowell ordered Crudup to serve five years probation when he is released from prison.

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