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Trick-or-treater robbers sent to jail

August 21, 2000

Trick-or-treater robbers sent to jail



Two men who held up a pair of teenage trick-or-treaters at knifepoint last Halloween received prison terms in Washington County Circuit Court Tuesday for robbery.

Reed Theaphilus Butler Jr., 23, of Hagerstown, was sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Frederick Wright. Boot camp was recommended.

Matthew Darnell Hughes, 26, of Hagerstown, received a seven-year prison sentence, partly because of his extensive prior criminal record, according to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum.

Both men pleaded guilty to robbery, a charge that carried a possible 15-year maximum penalty. Armed robbery and weapons charges were dismissed in exchange for the pleas.

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According to court records, the victims, both 15 years old, were walking on West Washington Street Oct. 28, 1999 after an evening of trick-or-treating when they encountered Hughes and Butler.

At first, the two men asked for money and tried to take the victims' bags of candy. When the teens refused, one of the robbers pulled out a knife and ordered the pair into an alley.

The robber with the knife began swinging it at the teens and then the two men went through the younger boys' pockets, getting about $5 in cash.

The teenagers then ran one way and the robbers went the other way but were picked up within the hour by Hagerstown City Police.

Taken back to the scene, the robbers were identified by the victims, court records said. Both men have been in the Washington County Detention Center since the incident.

- Marlo Barnhart

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