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Inmate charged in Hamilton Township home invasion appears in court

October 01, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A Dauphin County Prison inmate charged in an April home invasion robbery was bound over for court Thursday following a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Gary Carter.

Chance Bonner, 27, is charged with three counts each of robbery, criminal conspiracy and theft, as well as burglary, criminal trespass and unlawful restraint, in the April 8 robbery at Buckingham Drive in Hamilton Township.

One of the victims, Michael Pearson, testified he went to the Greencastle, Pa., home of Lori Miller that night and was jumped by three masked gunmen. Pearson said the men were demanding money and drugs.

Pearson testified that two of the men, along with Miller and Pearson, went in Pearson's vehicle to Chambersburg, where Pearson tried to give them false directions to where he lived because he didn't want his four children to be in danger. Eventually, they arrived at his house along with the third gunman, who was driving another vehicle, he said.

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Pearson testified they were able to determine which house on Buckingham Drive was his by using his garage door opener.

Pearson testified that he was tied up and the largest of the three men sat on him and stabbed him in the neck. A guest at the house, Lennie Hines of New York, testified that he also was tied up.

While at the house, Lori Miller removed her clothes and a woman at the house was forced to perform a sexual act on her, Pennsylvania State Police said. Pearson testified that Miller was pretending to be a victim, but was behind the robbery.

Miller, 29, also was charged in the robbery, along with a charge of rape against the woman.

On the drive to Chambersburg, the two gunmen lifted their ski masks to avoid looking suspicious, Pearson testified. Police later showed him a book of mug shots from which he picked Bonner's photograph, he testified.

A tip led police to believe that Bonner was involved in the holdup, Trooper Frank Hershey testified. He testified Bonner admitted to being involved in the robbery during a jailhouse interview.

"No I didn't. That's a lie," Bonner interrupted. Hershey continued to testify, but at one point the sound system in the hearing room began to buzz.

"I guess this room just starts buzzing when people lie," Bonner said.

Another suspect in the robbery, Donald Scott, 30, a state prison inmate, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday, but it was continued to a later date, according to Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Angela Krom.

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