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Ford City man waives right to hearing

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

FORD CITY — A Ford City man, arrested in early April for allegedly robbing a Manor convenience store at gunpoint to fund his drug addiction, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

“I want to go to hospital,” the accused Joseph Paul Hiller, 34, told District Judge J. Gary DeComo.

Hiller made his request after DeComo reduced his bail from $100,000 to $20,000.

“I wouldn't bail him out,” DeComo told the defendant's family members who were present.

“Because of his addiction, he'll possibly get in more or worse trouble than he's already in,” said DeComo, suggesting that perhaps in-house treatment could be arranged for Hiller.

According to district court documents, Hiller's charges of robbery, theft, simple assault and receiving stolen property stem from an incident on April 3 in which he allegedly entered the Kwik Fill along Route 422 at around 8:50 p.m. and demanded money from the store clerk using a gun that was later determined to be fake.

Clerk not hurt

The clerk was not injured during the incident and Hiller allegedly escaped with $193 in cash, the documents say.

The criminal complaint alleges that police apprehended Hiller at his home after his wife, Mary Hiller, told police her husband had admitted to her that he robbed the Kwik Fill because he needed money to buy crack.

The complaint also alleges that when police arrived at the defendant's home, they discovered articles of clothing matching those seen on the Kwik Fill surveillance footage.

Public Defender James Wray said the public defender's office is going to request a psychological evaluation of Hiller.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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