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Final suspect in Antoniak's Market robbery placed on parole

| Friday, May 2, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

The last of three men charged in the armed robbery of Antoniak's Market in Jeannette more than two years ago pleaded guilty on Thursday to lesser charges.

Marielli A. McGowan, 23, of Jeannette was then sentenced to serve up to 23 months in jail. He was given credit for eight days he served in jail after his arrest and was immediately paroled by Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr.

“The most important part of the plea is the defendant has to stay away from the victims,” said Assistant District Attorney Wayne Gongaware.

Police said McGowan and two friends stormed the small market on Dec. 11, 2011, and left with $71.

Witnesses said McGowan brandished a gun during the heist and fled as police pursued the three men after the robbery.

McGowan was identified by one of the suspects who was captured by police.

“He got caught up in the wrong crowd and started a long slide,” defense attorney Milton Raiford said in court. “I think he's back on a good foot.”

McGowan pleaded guilty to lesser charges of theft and receiving stolen property. Prosecutors dismissed a more serious charge of robbery and conspiracy in return for the guilty plea.

Nathaniel Crawford, 20, of Jeannette was sentenced in late 2012 to 11 12 to 23 months in jail and two years' probation for standing lookout during the heist.

Eric Johnson, 21, formerly of Lancaster, pleaded guilty in March 2012 to robbery and was sentenced by Judge Al Bell to 18 to 36 months in prison.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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