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Hedgesville woman pleads guilty to second-degree attempted robbery

Deborah Ann Phipps faces between five and 18 years in prison for trying to rob another woman

August 01, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A woman accused of attempting to rob another woman outside the Michaels store in The Commons shopping center in September 2011 pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree attempted robbery in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Deborah Ann Phipps, 34, of Hedgesville, W.Va., faces between five and 18 years in prison, Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones said Wednesday in a news release. She is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 9.

A second felony count charging Phipps with conspiring with Michael Silver to commit the robbery was dismissed.

Silver was shot and killed Sept. 26, 2011, two weeks after the Michaels incident, by Martinsburg police officers after he carjacked a woman and her then-4-year-old daughter at Martinsburg Mall.

A grand jury concluded the shooting by the officers in the ATM lane of the bank drive-through was justified. The victims were not injured.

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Phipps was identified by police as a suspect in the crime after a second robbery happened in Spotsylvania County, Va., and her photograph was obtained from video surveillance after she allegedly used a stolen credit card from that crime, police had said.

Phipps is scheduled to be sentenced by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III. The case was investigated by Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Gary Harmison.

— Matthew Umstead

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