Charleroi robbery suspect facing trial
Stephen Purcell waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday on robbery charges – and his attorney made an unusual request.
Washington County Public Defender Russell Korner asked that Purcell's bond not be lowered so the Charleroi man would stay in jail and receive credit for time served.
Purcell has been in the Washington County Correctional Facility since April 5 on charges related to three robberies in a 10-day period beginning last month, but he has spent much of the past decade in jail.
Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins continued bond on two of the cases at $5,000 each and raised bond in the third case to $50,000 straight cash.
“It's rough in there,” Purcell told Hopkins of life behind bars. “It's rough out here.”
Purcell was released last month from the State Correctional Institution in Greene County, where he had been sentenced in March 2005 to five to 10 years in jail for the November 2004 robbery of the Cougar Mini Mart in North Charleroi.
In that case, Purcell pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and one count of aggravated assault after leading police on a 21-minute high-speed chase that resulted in him crashing into several police cars.
Purcell was arrested April 5 at his residence after he allegedly robbed Frank's Auto Supermarket at 628 Fallowfield Ave. for the second time in a week.
He is also accused of robbing the state Wine and Spirits Store at 105 Third St., Charleroi.
Purcell faces four counts of robbery/threat to inflict bodily harm, two counts each of terroristic threats, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property and one count each of aggravated assault, criminal attempt, and driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Purcell confessed to all three robberies.
On March 29, Purcell allegedly walked into Frank's at 3:25 p.m. and demanded money, according to the affidavit.
With a hand in his pocket, he threatened to shoot a store employee if she did not give him money, police said.
Purcell allegedly fled on foot after receiving an undetermined amount of cash.
Purcell allegedly entered the same store 3:18 p.m. April 5, grabbed the arm of a female employee, said he had a gun and told her, “You're not going anywhere.”
She yelled for another employee to call 911 and Purcell left the store.
According to the affidavit, Purcell claimed he had a gun in his pocket when he robbed the Wine and Spirits store March 26.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Toprani out to stay on Ringgold board
- Belle Vernon Area turf ready to go
- Two Cal U students charged in altercation
- New Mon Valley Regional Chamber committee is inviting young professionals to join
- History abounds at site of Maple Creek Distributing
- Donora handbag dispute sparks fight
- Fayette man charged in child sex case
- North Charleroi man’s child sex case continued
- No quorum in Rostraver
- Belle Vernon Reality Tour offers close look at ‘nightmare’ of drug abuse
- Retired Monessen mail carrier, veteran, 97, still loves to travel the world