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Winfield Township man pleads guilty to fake bomb threat

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Friday, June 13, 2014, 2:11 a.m.
 

A Winfield Township man has pleaded guilty to brandishing a fake bomb while robbing a Buffalo Township pharmacy in October.

Kenneth K. Miller, 29, of Winfield is facing 15 months to five years in prison under a plea bargain. His sentencing is scheduled in August after a pre-sentence investigation.

Miller pleaded guilty on Wednesday to robbery at the Colonial Pharmacy along Ekastown Road in Buffalo Township on Oct. 28.

According to Buffalo Township police, a masked man walked into the store at about 8 p.m. and set a box with wires on the counter and demanded painkillers “for his sick brother.”

Pharmacy owner Ethan Schwartz told him the drugs were locked up, and the robber left empty-handed.

Police found Miller in a nearby parking lot. They said he was wearing the same camouflage pants and dark hooded sweatshirt that the would-be robber wore.

In an affidavit, police said they found a fake bomb — a white box with wires attached — inside a bag in Miller's truck. The box contained soap.

Police found a handgun that wasn't seen during the robbery.

Miller “could have received much more,” Public Defender Joseph Leonard Smith said on Thursday.

He said the DA's office at first offered a five- to 10-year sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia McClain confirmed the 15 month to five-year sentence that is being offered, pending a Butler County judge's approval.

Smith said Miller has no prior record and that helped his cause during plea negotiations.Miller was initially charged with 17 offenses including three robbery counts, bomb threats, having a weapon of mass destruction and reckless endangerment.

In exchange for pleading guilty to robbery, McClain dropped the 16 others.

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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