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Fugitive arraigned on home-invasion charges

| Sunday, May 9, 2004

A robbery suspect who eluded more than 200 police for almost two days by hiding in the woods and an abandoned mine shaft in Washington County was arraigned Saturday on robbery and other charges stemming from a home invasion in that county last month.

Franklin E. Sebetich, 56, of Ellsworth, Washington County, was captured early Thursday morning after a two-day manhunt during which he allegedly shot at police twice.

Sebetich was captured about 1 a.m. Thursday after he emerged from an abandoned mine shaft in New Eagle, where police believe he spent as many as 30 hours. Police had chased Sebetich into a wooded area where the old mine was. They surrounded it on Tuesday, but were unable to find him as they searched by foot, car and air in a one-square-mile section of Carroll Township, Washington County.

Sebetich was hospitalized for exposure after his arrest, but had recovered enough to be arraigned about noon yesterday before District Justice Jay Weller in Canonsburg. Weller scheduled Sebetich's preliminary hearing for May 18 before District Justice Curtis Thompson, of Ellsworth.

Police charge that Sebetich and another man forced their way into the residence of Joshua Shaw, of Eighty Four, while wearing masks and wielding shotguns. They took several items, including guns, police said.

Sebetich ran into the woods near his home in late April when police tried to arrest him for the April 21 home invasion. Police saw Sebetich again on Tuesday morning and chased the car in which he was riding off Route 481.

Sebetich was denied bail and taken to the Washington County Jail. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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