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Pa. man convicted in armed robbery

October 24, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Already serving a prison sentence for one armed robbery, a Chambersburg man is looking at up to 46 more years behind bars after a Franklin County jury convicted him Thursday of another holdup.

Corey L. Williams, 21, formerly of 412 Linden Ave., will be sentenced Dec. 3 by Judge Douglas Herman for the Jan. 30, 2002, robbery of Getty Mart, 4188 Lincoln Way West, St. Thomas, Pa.

Earlier this year, Williams was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 81/2 to 35 years in prison for the March 3, 2002, armed robbery of a 7-Eleven at 11374 Buchanan Trail East, Rouzerville, Pa.

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The jury deliberated less than 90 minutes before finding Williams guilty of robbery, four counts of simple assault, four counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count each of making terroristic threats and carrying a firearm without a license.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, a masked gunman entered the store at about 6:50 a.m., fired a handgun into the counter area and forced the cashier and three customers to the floor before fleeing with $282.

Mohinder Singh, who was working in the store, testified the man put a silver handgun to his neck and demanded cash before firing the gun into the counter.

"I lay down after he shot into my counter area," Singh testified during questioning by Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom. He did not positively identify Williams as the gunman, testifying that the robber was masked and "I was very, very nervous. He had the gun."

Sing said the gunman also threatened to come back and shoot him if he called the police.

Trooper Todd Neumyer, a state police ballistics expert, testified the bullet recovered from the counter of the Getty Mart was fired from the same gun police found in the car Williams was driving after the 7-Eleven robbery in March.

No shots were fired in that holdup, but the two masked robbers bound a couple working in the store with duct tape.

Williams and Jared Smith, 18, formerly of 310 W. Irva Drive, Chambersburg, were stopped by Waynesboro Police minutes after the 7-Eleven robbery. The silver Rossi .38-caliber revolver was found under Smith's seat in the car.

Smith later pleaded guilty in the robbery and is serving a four-to-eight year state prison sentence.

George Simmers of Waynesboro, Pa., testified he had reported the revolver stolen from a gun cabinet in his Tomstown Road home in December 2001. Simmers's daughter testified that Williams had spent the night at their home in late November or early December of that year.

Attorney James Reed presented no evidence or testimony for the defense and Williams did not take the stand.

Reed said in his closing argument that Williams was not positive identified as the gunman in the Getty Mart robbery by any of the four victims. Reed argued that Smith, not Williams, had access to the gun and could have committed the robbery.

Smith had been called as a prosecution witness in the 7-Eleven trial, but testified then that Williams had not gone in the store. Instead, Smith said a man known to him only as "J.B." had gone into the store with him while Williams stayed in the car, unaware that a holdup was taking place.

Police at Williams' first trial discounted the existence of J.B.

Smith did not testify in the Getty Mart case.

Because a handgun was used in the crime, Krom said Williams faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years on the robbery charge.

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