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Week set aside for Sellers trial

February 17, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -Common Pleas Court Judge Carol Van Horn on Friday set aside the last full week in March for the murder trial of Sally A. Sellers, accused in shootings at a veteran's post in 2000 that left one person dead and two others injured.

Sellers' trial begins March 24. Jury selection is scheduled March 10.

Present at a pre-trial conference in court Friday in addition to Sellers were Tony Adams of Shippensburg, Pa., her court-appointed attorney, and Assistant District Attorney T.A. Williams.

Williams, who will prosecute the case, told Van Horn he expects to call 20 to 25 witnesses.

Sellers, of St. Thomas, Pa., and co-defendant Jonna M. Johnson were charged in the June 11, 2000, shootings at the Vietnam Veterans Post Club in Chambersburg that resulted in the death of Robert Tucker and the wounding of employees Kimberly Bigger and William Groff.

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Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving life without parole.

The women were members of the post and were involved in a romantic relationship, according to court records.

They were planning to rob the post after closing and buy a mobile home together, according to court records.

In August, Sellers agreed to plea to a lesser charge of criminal conspiracy. As part of the agreement, she would have served seven to 25 years in state prison and would not be tried on the other charges she faced, including criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery and two counts of criminal attempt homicide, court records show.

If convicted on all counts, Sellers could be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

She changed her mind days before she was to be sentenced.

She fired her court-appointed attorney and filed her own motion to withdraw the plea agreement, saying she was coerced by her attorney and Williams into making it. Later, in court, she swore under oath that she withdrew the plea because she is innocent.

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