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Econo Lodge employee charged

September 8, 2012
By Anthony Gaynor - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

An Econo Lodge employee who claims she was robbed of $317 of the hotel's money, allegedly took the money herself, police say.

Seneca Lawson, 26, of Elkins is facing misdemeanor charges of embezzlement, falsely reporting an emergency incident and two counts of providing false information stemming from the Aug. 7 incident.

"She fabricated the story and embezzled the money," West Virginia State Police Sgt. G.L. Stalnaker said.

According to criminal complaint filed on Aug. 29 in Randolph County Magistrate Court, at approximately 2:26 a.m. on Aug. 7, Trooper C.S. Johnston responded to an armed robbery complaint at the Econo Lodge Hotel along U.S. 33 east near Elkins city limits. The trooper said he spoke with Lawson, and she claimed she was robbed at gun point by a white male named Rodney.

According to the complaint, Johnston again spoke with Lawson on Aug. 11 and he obtained a written statement in which Lawson confessed that she conspired with a man named Rodney to steal the money and that she made up the armed robbery. On Aug. 29, Johnston again met with Lawson at the Elkins detachment of West Virginia State Police and obtained an additional written statement in which Lawson said she lied about conspiring with another individual and acted alone in stealing $317 from the hotel.

Lawson was arrested on Aug. 29 and later released on a $10,000 bond. She is set to appear in Randolph County Magistrate Court on Dec. 5 for a hearing on the charges.



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