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Hedgesville man waives hearing in Big Pool robbery case

September 10, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hedgesville, W.Va., man waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Washington County District Court in an armed robbery case.

David Allen Johns, 36, formerly of 60 Remington Lane, faces 17 charges in connection with the March 30 armed robbery of AC&T in Big Pool, according to court records. Those include two counts each of armed robbery and robbery, four counts each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, and one count of theft of more than $500, according to court records.

District Judge Ralph France II reduced Johns' bond to $90,000 Tuesday. He was being held on $150,000 bond. Johns remained at the Washington County Detention Center Tuesday night.

The robbery happened March 30 about 12:20 a.m. when a man in a ski mask entered AC&T with a rifle and demanded all of the money from two registers, Washington County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Christopher Howard wrote in charging documents. Clerks gave him about $640, Howard wrote.

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Investigators linked Johns to the robbery after receiving a tip from a caller who said Johns had bragged about committing the robbery, Howard wrote. Investigators also pursued leads related to a phone call that the suspect was seen making from a pay phone outside the store prior to the robbery, and obtained a record that Johns had pawned a shotgun similar to the one used in the robbery on April 1, according to Howard's report.

Johns' attorney, Lewis C. Metzner, told France Tuesday that although his client was waiving his preliminary hearing, the case was "far from open and shut."

The surveillance video of the incident does not identify the robber and the charges are based on an anonymous tip, Metzner said.

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