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Judge forwards charges

February 10, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

A judge found probable cause to forward to Washington County Circuit Court charges against a 74-year-old Hagerstown man who is charged in two armed robberies.

But prosecuting and defense attorneys said in Washington County District Court during the Wednesday preliminary hearing for Wayne E. Drake that charges related to one of those robberies, a January bank robbery, likely will be heard in federal court.

Frederick County District Judge Janice Rodnick Ambrose, sitting in Washington County, found probable cause on all charges filed against Drake in a Dec. 11, 2004, robbery of the Family Dollar store at 921 Pennsylvania Ave.

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Drake, represented by Assistant Public Defender Carl F. Creeden, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges filed against him in the Jan. 7 robbery of the Hagerstown Trust bank at West Franklin Street and Westside Avenue.

Drake, of 7 E. Washington St., Apt. 704, was charged with armed robbery, robbery, theft less than $500, use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime and handgun on person in the Family Dollar incident.

In the Hagerstown Trust robbery, he was charged with one count each of armed robbery, robbery, use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime, theft more than $500 and handgun on person. He also was charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment in the Hagerstown Trust incident.

Creeden and Washington County Assistant State's Attorney John B. Dunlap said Wednesday that federal attorneys have said they intend to take over jurisdiction in the bank robbery case.

The Hagerstown Police Department alleged Drake used a .32-caliber Smith & Wesson, which was found in Drake's possession when he was arrested last month, in both robberies.

Police allege the armed man told the Family Dollar clerk during the robbery, "I'm sorry. I hate to do this to you, but I want all your money" and "I know this sounds stupid, but Merry Christmas."

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