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'Peanut' Houser gets up to 10 years in Pa. sentencing

January 06, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man serving 14 years on a federal drug conviction pleaded guilty and was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court on two state charges.

Donald T. "Peanut" Houser, 26, was sentenced to five to 10 years for criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and one to two years for receiving stolen property, according to court records.

The sentences will be served concurrently with the one he is serving at the federal prison in Cumberland, Md.

The charges stemmed from a holdup at Henicle's Market, 11359 Anthony Highway in Waynesboro, Pa., on July 17, 1998, and a break-in at a Chambersburg dental clinic on Aug. 8, 1998, according to court records.

Last week, Houser's brother, William Houser, 20, of Chambersburg, was sentenced to serve from seven to 20 years in state prison for participating in the Henicle's robbery and an attempted homicide charge.

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Chambersburg police had charged both Housers in the July 20, 1997, drive-by shooting in which two men were wounded. William Houser last year pleaded no contest in the case, but a county jury acquitted Donald Houser on a charge of attempted homicide and deadlocked on charges of criminal conspiracy to commit homicide and solicitation to commit homicide.

Instead of retrying Donald Houser on the two charges on which the jury deadlocked, the District Attorney's Office asked federal prosecutors to include those charges in a federal indictment.

Houser pleaded guilty to a cocaine trafficking charge as part of a plea agreement in which other charges were dropped. He was sentenced in federal court in October.

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