Man convicted in Waffle House robbery is sentenced

August 30, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

A Martinsburg, W.Va., man convicted June 7 in the Sept. 23, 2006, robbery at the Waffle House in Williamsport was sentenced Thursday morning to seven years in prison, with all but three years suspended.

Henry Russell Powell, 30, asked Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long to let him go home to his children. He said he has been a single father for a couple of years.

A jury acquitted Powell of several other charges, including armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Powell acted as the getaway driver during the robbery in which witnesses saw a woman, Powell's wife, with stolen money and a gun get into Powell's truck, Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said during the trial.

When he took the stand in his defense, Henry Powell testified that he thought his wife, Tonya Powell, went to Waffle House because she was hungry. She came out hollering and screaming and said, "Get in the truck, we got to go," Henry Powell testified.


During the robbery, Powell was at a nearby gas station paying for $1.63 worth of gas in change.

Powell didn't want to be part of the robbery and crashed his truck into a tree while fighting with Tonya Powell as they drove away from the scene, he testified during the trial.

On Thursday, Powell's defense again blamed Tonya Powell, now his ex-wife. Powell got in trouble because he associated with her, Assistant Public Defender Jerome J. Joyce said. Joyce called Powell a "bad person."

Powell was victimized by the woman during their marriage with "the kind of stuff you hear on Jerry Springer," Joyce said during the trial.

Cirincion said Thursday that Henry Powell had several convictions for domestic battery and for driving on a suspended license.

Tonya Powell is serving a 10-year sentence for another armed robbery she admitted to in West Virginia, Cirincion said.

Long ordered Powell to serve three years probation after his release and pay $227 in restitution to the Waffle House. Powell got credit for 183 days served.

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