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Pa. man gets prison time for role in armed robberies

October 21, 2005

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - One of two men who pleaded guilty in a series of armed robberies and burglaries last year was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court to eight to 25 years in state prison.

Matthew L. Saunders, 27, of 1907 Johnson Road, was sentenced on two counts of robbery and one count of burglary by Judge Douglas Herman. Saunders pleaded guilty to the charges Aug. 26 in exchange for charges involving another robbery and other burglaries being dismissed, according to court records.

Police in Chambersburg arrested Saunders and Derek L. Mills of North Franklin Street on Nov. 20, 2004, following a holdup at the beer carryout store of Schoenberger's Restaurant, 346 Lincoln Way East. Police said Saunders and Mills robbed the cashier at gunpoint and fled on the railroad tracks next to the business but were tracked to a North Fourth Street house by a K-9 team.

Chambersburg police later charged Saunders and Mills with the Nov. 13 armed robbery of M&M Self Service Fuels, 17 W. King St., and Pennsylvania State Police charged them in a holdup at Unimart, 1981 Philadelphia Ave., on Nov. 17.

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The pair also were charged with several residential burglaries that occurred during the same time period, according to court records.

Herman ordered Saunders to pay restitution of $400 to M&M Self Service Fuels, $178 to Schoenberger's and $280 to Unimart. Saunders also was ordered to pay restitution to several individuals and an insurance company.

Mills pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of burglary earlier this year and was sentenced to 10 to 28 years in state prison, according to court records.

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