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Man arraigned on charges stemming from attack

August 26, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - One of three men indicted in the January attempted armed robbery of the Waffle House north of Martinsburg has been arraigned on charges of malicious wounding and battery, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Wayne Robert Bates, 23, of Berkeley County, was arraigned Wednesday night by Magistrate Harry L. Snow. Bates was being held Thursday at Eastern Regional Jail, according to jail records.

Bates is charged with hitting and kicking a man in the head and face and battering the victim's girlfriend on Jan. 19 in the parking lot of the Fraternal Order of Orioles Nest 313. The incident happened five days after he and Gary L. Himes of Hedgesville, W.Va., and Richard L. Ernst of Martinsburg, allegedly attempted to rob the Waffle House, police have said.

Himes and Ernst already have been charged in the attack, which resulted in the hospitalization of the victim, who was flown to a hospital in Virginia.

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In May, Himes, Ernst and Bates each were named in 12-count indictments related to their alleged roles in the attack, the Waffle House robbery on Jan. 14, and the breaking and entering of a home on West Race Street in Martinsburg and French's Country Quick Stop in the Hedgesville area. All of the crimes were reported in January, according to court records.

After the grand jury returned his indictment, Bates failed to appear for arraignment on the charges, and authorities later reported he had been incarcerated in the Frederick County (Md.) Detention Center, according to Berkeley County Circuit Court records. Bates was booked at Eastern Regional Jail on Tuesday, according to jail records.

Himes is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 14 after agreeing to enter a plea deal with the Berkeley County Prosecutor's office, according to a pre-plea hearing order signed by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.

Himes could face more than 25 years in prison after entering a guilty plea to nine of the 12 counts, according to the order, which was filed Aug. 7 in circuit court.

The state's case against Ernst is pending in circuit court. His defense attorney recently was injured in a motorcycle accident, and a status hearing was scheduled for next month to schedule new hearing and trial dates, according to court records.

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