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Hagerstown man charged in armed robbery has case put on inactive docket

Jean L. Colas won't be tried because of evidentiary concerns

January 04, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

An alleged accomplice was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for armed robbery, but a Hagerstown man charged in the same incident had his case placed on the inactive docket Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Jean L. Colas, 21, of 19030 Longmeadow Road, was charged with armed robbery, robbery, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, theft, and possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in connection with a holdup at his home May 14, court records said.

Colas was scheduled for a jury trial Tuesday, but instead had his case placed on the inactive docket by Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III. Colas was ordered to pay restitution of $315 to the victim, Douglas Gamby of Hagerstown.

"There were evidentiary concerns," Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said afterward.

Gamby had not seen Colas at the scene of the robbery and the prosecution was unable to obtain phone records between Colas and Gamby, she said.

Paul E. Joseph, 26, also of 19030 Longmeadow Road, was convicted in a November jury trial in the robbery and was sentenced to 10 years, court records show.

Gamby testified at Joseph's trial that he received a text message he believed came from Colas to meet him at the Longmeadow Road home to purchase marijuana. The text directed him to go to an exterior basement door, he testified.

Gamby testified that when he got there, a man whom he identified in court as Joseph confronted him in the basement stairwell, put a knife to his throat and robbed him of $110 in cash, a cell phone and keys. Gamby then went to a nearby Sheetz and called police, he testified.

Gamby testified he never saw Colas during the robbery.

A Washington County Sheriff's deputy testified at Joseph's trial that Colas and Joseph were both found at the house, along with drugs, but the cash, cell phone and keys were never found.

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