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Police say Pa. parolee committed robberies while wearing electronig monitoring bracelet

April 02, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. -- A Gettysburg, Pa., man accused of committing armed robberies in Franklin and Adams counties apparently did so while wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle, according to Chambersburg Police.

Melvin Lamont Williams, 35, is charged in Franklin County by Chambersburg and Pennsylvania State Police with three counts of robbery and three counts of terroristic threats for holdups at Video Den at Southgate Mall on Dec. 22; the Hess station, 1070 Lincoln Way East, on Dec. 30; and Lemoyne Sleeper, 1363 Lincoln Way East, on Jan. 6, according to the criminal complaints.

Williams' preliminary hearing was delayed two weeks to allow time for research into his criminal record, Assistant District Attorney Jeremiah Zook said. The outcome of that search could determine the length of Williams' sentence if he was convicted under Pennsylvania's Three Strikes law.

"If his priors are crimes of violence as defined by the statute," Zook said, Williams could face a mandatory minimum of 10 years for a "second strike" and 25 years or life without parole for a third.

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"Williams was on state parole and was wearing a monitored ankle bracelet that recorded the times he left and returned to his residence in order to ensure his compliance with set curfews," according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Chambersburg police. "A review of these records indicated that Williams was not at his home in Gettysburg at the time the robberies were committed in Chambersburg."

The robberies were committed in the afternoon, police records stated. A relative of Williams was interviewed Jan. 12 and she told police she had driven him to the vicinity of the holdups, let him out of her car and waited for him to return, according to the affidavits.

Police said $360 was stolen from Video Den and $1,307 was taken in the Hess robbery.

Zook did not indicate what Williams was on parole for, although a Pennsylvania courts Web site stated he had criminal charges filed against him in Adams County in 1997.

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