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W.Va. man found guilty of robbing BB&T Bank

July 29, 2005|BY DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

charlestown@herald-mail.com

A Martinsburg man is facing a possible sentence of 10 to 20 years in jail after a Berkeley County jury convicted him Thursday of bank robbery following a hold-up at a BB&T Bank at the intersection of U.S. 11, W.Va. 9 and W.Va. 45 last year.

The jury deliberated about 30 minutes before returning the verdict against Reginald Dwayne Barnes of 222 N. Church St., said Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely.

Barnes, who is being held without bond in the Eastern Regional Jail, will be sentenced Sept. 9, Games-Neely said.

Barnes' trial before Berkeley County Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes began Wednesday, and the jury returned its verdict about 11 a.m. Thursday, Games Neely said.

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West Virginia State Police Trooper F.H. Edwards went to the bank at 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 16 last year after receiving a hold-up alarm call. The bank teller who was robbed gave Edwards a description of the robber, records state.

An undercover officer with the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force saw a man whose appearance was similar to the description provided of the robber get into a taxi at the Relax Inn on Winchester Avenue, according to records filed in Magistrate Court.

The bank and the motel are a block apart.

The officer followed the cab, which stopped at the H-Mart convenience store on Winchester Avenue, where the man bought a pack of Newport cigarettes, records state.

The taxi then took the man to City Hospital in Martinsburg, where he said "he needed to see somebody," records state.

Police did not indicate who the man, later identified as Barnes, wanted to see at the hospital or why he went there.

A teller told police that the robber wrote a note, indicating he had a gun. The robber then pointed to his waistband, which contained the handle of a gun, police said.

After making separate requests for specific bill denominations, the man was given a total of $4,255, records state.

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