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Prosecutors plan to retry man charged in M&T Bank robbery

September 21, 2010|By DAN DEARTH

The Washington County State's Attorneys Office plans to retry the man accused of being the getaway driver during the March 8 robbery of the M&T Bank at 930 Dual Highway in Hagerstown, Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Michael said Monday.

During a hearing in Washington County Circuit Court, Michael said the state intends to retry Darnell Edward Stewart, 50, of 9207 Eldon Drive in Clinton, Md., adding, "It just won't be any time soon."

Stewart's case was placed on the stet docket, which means it will not be retried immediately, but can be reopened at a later date.

Stewart's three-day trial ended in a mistrial Aug. 9 after jurors failed to reach a verdict. He was charged with 21 counts, including armed robbery and 10 counts of first-degree assault.

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Michael said eight jurors believed Stewart was innocent, while four jurors believed he was guilty.

The case would be expunged if the State's Attorneys Office fails to retry Stewart within three years, Stewart's defense attorney, Ross Hecht, said after the hearing.

Hecht said Stewart, who did not attend Monday's hearing, was pleased with the outcome of the first trial.

Stewart was accused of waiting near his pickup truck in a shopping plaza a few hundred feet behind the bank while his brother, Leroy Robinson, 59, of Fort Washington, Md., and Keith Darnell Wilson, 38, of Washington, D.C., committed the robbery.

Police arrested Wilson on the passenger's side of Stewart's truck. Robinson was arrested near the truck in a clump of trees behind the Weis supermarket.

The defense produced witnesses who said Stewart was in Hagerstown helping a friend move furniture on the day of the robbery. Hecht told the jury that it didn't make sense for Stewart to parallel park his truck between two other vehicles if he were preparing to make a hasty escape.

The prosecution argued that it was no coincidence that Stewart and his brother, who live more than 70 miles from Hagerstown, were in the same place at the time of the robbery.

Stewart faced more than 20 years in prison if convicted.

Robinson was sentenced in July to serve 30 years in prison.

Wilson pleaded guilty in August to charges of armed robbery, first-degree assault and using a handgun in commission of a violent crime. He is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on Oct. 20.

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