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Trial awaits Winfield man accused of using fake bomb in robbery attempt

| Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 2:06 a.m.

A 27-year-old Winfield man was ordered Wednesday to stand trial for allegedly showing a fake bomb in an attempt to rob a Buffalo Township pharmacy.

Police say Kenneth K. Miller, of Clearfield Road confessed to attempting to rob the Colonial Pharmacy, along Ekastown Road, Buffalo Township on Oct. 28 in order to get painkillers for his sick brother.

A masked man walked into just after 8 p.m., pharmacy owner Ethan Schwartz said in a phone interview Wednesday.

The robber set a box with wires attached on the counter and demanded painkillers.

“He told me he needed painkillers for a sick relative, and I told him it was locked up,” Schwartz said.

The robber left empty-handed, but police found Miller in a nearby business' parking lot, police said.

He was wearing the same camouflage pants and dark hooded sweatshirt described by Schwartz.

In an affidavit, police said they found a fake bomb — a white box with wires attached — inside a black bag in Miller's truck. The box contained only soap, according to police. They said they also found a gun, but it wasn't seen during the robbery.

Police said Miller admitted to the robbery attempt to “get pain medication for his brother, who had cancer.”

Miller's wife said the family declined to comment on advice of her husband's attorney.

His attorney, Robert Spohn, said that Miller's claim is true.

Miller waived to court robbery and other charges before District Judge Sue Haggerty in Saxonburg. He's also charged with having a weapon of mass destruction, bomb threats, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment.

He was arraigned and sent to the Butler County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Miller is slated to have a court arraignment in Butler on Dec. 31.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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