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Bunker Hill man pleads guilty in robbery, beating case

May 10, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — One of two men accused in the violent robbery and beating of a 76-year-old man in November pleaded guilty Thursday in Berkeley County Circuit Court to first-degree robbery and conspiracy.

Evan Russell Shirley, 22, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., is scheduled to be sentenced July 16 by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John C. Yoder.

Shirley is expected to be ordered to serve a 16-year sentence for the robbery conviction and a one to five years for the conspiracy conviction as part of a plea agreement, Assistant Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones said.

The sentences are to be served concurrently, and restitution also is expected to be ordered under the plea agreement.

Charges of burglary, malicious assault and assault during the commission of a felony are to be dismissed as part of the agreement, which was contingent upon Shirley’s testimony against co-defendant, Tyler Shane Munson.

Jones told the court Thursday that Shirley already provided a recorded statement. 

Munson’s trial is set for June 12.

Upon entering the plea Thursday, Shirley told the judge that he acted as the “lookout” for Munson and admitted to grabbing laptop computers from the victim’s Martinsburg area home in the robbery.

Shirley said that they first traveled to Martinsburg to get drugs, and the robbery happened afterward.

Shirley said he initially told Munson he couldn’t take part in the robbery. He told Yoder that Munson had indicated he would have to walk home if he didn’t help him. He also said that Munson would share his drugs with him.

After entering the home, he watched Munson beat the victim and then rob him, Shirley said.

The victim told police that the robbers took cash, collectible coins and computers from the Winchester Avenue home, according to court records.

The victim told police on Nov. 28, 2011, that he heard a loud bang and saw two men come through the back door of his home. He said he was unable to identify either suspect because he was struck in the head by an object that felt like lead, court documents said.

The victim said he was struck multiple times in the head and face, and also was struck in the arm after he raised it to defend himself, the documents said.

Police responded to the incident at 11:03 p.m., and found the frame of the back door destroyed, a blood-soaked recliner and blood spread on a wall next to the chair, the documents said.

After they left the home, Shirley said they went to the Heritage Inn on Winchester Avenue where they got more drugs. They fled the Heritage Inn after police arrived.

Munson then called his mother to pick them up, Shirley said.

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Handcuffed and dressed in jail orange, Shirley wiped tears from his eyes several times during the hearing. Before being escorted from the courtroom, he briefly turned to the gallery and blew a kiss with two fingers to loved ones seated there.

Prior to pleading guilty, Shirley told the judge he had not been previously convicted of a felony within the past five years. Shirley told the court he had an eighth-grade education.

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