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Pa. man sentenced in 7-Eleven robbery

July 10, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man convicted last month in the armed robbery of a Rouzerville, Pa., convenience store was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to 81/2 to 35 years in state prison.

"It's not like you got a scholarship to Penn State. This is the state pen," President Judge John R. Walker told 21-year-old Corey L. Williams at sentencing.

A jury on June 2 found Williams, of 412 Linden Ave., guilty of robbery, theft, criminal conspiracy, unlawful restraint, simple assault, receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm without a license in the March 3, 2002, holdup of the 7-Eleven at 11374 Buchanan Trail East, according to court records.

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A couple working in the store, Charles and Beverly Baer, of Waynesboro, Pa., were bound with duct tape in the robbery, which was reported at 4:30 a.m., according to Washington Township Police.

"When people go into a place with a firearm, threaten people, steal their money and duct tape them ... we're not going to tolerate that," Walker said.

The county probation department had recommended an even longer sentence for Williams.

"I want you to think about it and say, 'I'm stupider than the devil,'" Walker told Williams.

Walker sentenced Williams to 51/2 to 20 years for the robbery, which required a minimum five-year sentence because of the use of a deadly weapon. Williams got another two to 10 years for criminal conspiracy and one to five years on the firearms violation.

Testimony during the trial indicated the gun had been stolen from a Quincy Township, Pa., home.

Although Williams was convicted of theft and simple assault, those charges were merged with the robbery sentence, Walker said. He gave Williams sentences of nine months to five years for unlawful restraint and one to five years for receiving stolen property that will run concurrently with the robbery sentence, the judge said.

Williams today he is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on another convenience store armed robbery, according to court records. Jury selection is scheduled for Monday.

In that case, Williams is charged with holding up the Getty Mart at 4188 Lincoln Way West, St. Thomas, Pa., on the morning of Jan. 30, 2002, according to court records.

The Pennsylvania State Police affidavit of probable cause stated that a masked gunman forced an employee and customers to the floor and fired a shot before fleeing with $282.

Additional charges in that case include simple assault, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person and theft, according to police.

Williams' accomplice in the 7-Eleven holdup, Jared Smith, 18, of 310 W. Irva Drive, had pleaded guilty to robbery in February and was sentenced to four to eight years in state prison.

Although Smith agreed to testify for the prosecution in the trial, when he got on the stand last month, he said Williams had nothing to do with the robbery. Smith said he and a man he called "J.B." robbed the store while Williams was sitting unaware outside in the car.

Williams and Smith were arrested a few minutes after the robbery by police in Waynesboro, according to court records. A Washington Township, Pa., police officer and a Pennsylvania State Trooper involved in the investigation both testified later in the trial that they had never heard of J.B. until Smith took the stand.

Walker gave Williams 349 days credit for time already served and fined him $1,250.

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