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Warrant issued in bank robbery

September 08, 2000

Warrant issued in bank robbery



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer


MARTINSBURG, W. Va. - Berkeley County Magistrate Joan Bragg issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of William Oliver Burris in connection with the unarmed robbery of City National Bank on Winchester Avenue around noon Thursday.

Burris, who has no listed address, is being held by Maryland prison authorities for violating terms of the mandatory supervision under which he was released one year ago, said Priscilla Doggett, spokesperson for the Maryland Division of Corrections.

He may serve out the term of violating his parole before being returned to West Virginia, said Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neeley.

Burris, 35, began serving a six-year prison term in Maryland in 1995 for unarmed robbery. Investigating documents accompanying the warrant said the robbery was in Rockville, Md.

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With credits earned in prison, Burris was released "under mandatory supervision" in September 1999, Doggett said. That's like parole, she said. If anyone commits a crime while under mandatory supervision, it means they go back to prison.

Games-Neely said it is common for someone to be charged with violating parole if they are accused of committing another crime.

The warrant for Burris' arrest alleges he took $3,000 in $50 and $20 bills during the robbery at 617 Winchester Ave.

"There was no threat of a weapon used during this robbery," although the teller indicated the robber had something wrapped around his hand, the police report said.

The robber was seen fleeing the bank in a car with Virginia license plates, the document alleges. Based on the description of the vehicle seen at the bank, Burris was later picked up in a restaurant in Williamsport, Md. He was with a second person who was not arrested.

"That is still under investigation," said Martinsburg police Det. Kevin Miller of the second person.

Burris allegedly had $1,900 in his possession when police arrested him in Williamsport, the police report said.

Games-Neely said West Virginia cannot force Maryland to relinquish Burris for trial because he is being held for violation of his prison release.

West Virginia would like to try him as soon as possible, she said. That might happen if Burris agrees to come to West Virginia or if Maryland voluntarily agrees to send him for trial, then imposes the parole violation sentence later, she said.

The state may discuss the issue with Burris, she said.

Burris was being held by the Maryland Division of Prisons in Baltimore Friday.

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