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Man gets prison time for robbery attempt

December 23, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg man convicted of attempting to rob a hotel while wearing a toddler's pajama pants over his head as a disguise was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to from 39 months to 17 years in state prison.

A jury took about 15 minutes at his Nov. 8 trial to convict Larry Armwood on charges of attempted robbery, attempted theft, simple assault and unlawful restraint.

Armwood, 28, of 1463 State St., was charged by Pennsylvania State Police in connection with a bungled holdup on Oct. 13, 2003, at Comfort Inn, 3301 Black Gap Road, according to court documents.

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A man entered the lobby shortly after midnight and demanded night clerk Alisa Parrish give him cash, according to the affidavit of probable cause. The man grabbed Parrish by the arm, pushed her into the office behind the front desk and pretended to have a weapon in his jacket, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The man left without any money and Parrish saw him drive north on Pa. 997, according to the affidavit. The object in the jacket was a socket wrench, according to trial testimony.

Parrish testified at the trial that Armwood had to lift the pajama pants to see what he was doing because there were no eyeholes in them. She also testified to having seen Armwood drive up to the hotel before he put on the disguise.

Armwood left the pants in the hotel parking lot, but the matching top later was found in his vehicle.

Although Armwood contested the charges by taking the case to trial, he acknowledged committing the crime when he appeared Wednesday before Judge John R. Walker, according to his attorney James Reed.

Armwood has a long criminal record that included a five-year sentence for robbery in Maryland 10 years ago, Walker said.

Before being led from the courtroom, Armwood wished Walker, "happy holidays."

Returning the greeting, Walker told him, "Mr. Armwood, it's time to make a change in your life."

"I'm looking forward to it," Armwood said.

Walker gave Armwood 435 days credit for time served and fined him $700. He also must pay a $250 fee to have his DNA entered into a state database.

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