FRANKLIN - Robert Earl Staton, 62, arrested and charged with armed robbery of the Pill Box Pharmacy, was bound over for action by the Pendleton County grand jury by Magistrate Andrew M. Hinkle.
Arresting officer State Police Sgt. A.E. Teter stated in court records that he responded by cruiser to a Pendleton E911 dispatch call on March 18 about a man attempting to stab someone at the Pill Box. By radio, he was informed of the armed robbery and given a description of the man driving a blue Dodge Ram truck which fled the scene, leaving Franklin traveling north on US220 through town and onto US33 heading east, according to court records.
As Teter was passing through Hammer Straight on the way to town, he saw a vehicle matching that description. Teter turned, followed and conducted a traffic stop on the truck, according to court records. He asked the driver to exit the truck and cuffed him for officer safety. Staton was accused and read his rights, according to court records.
In a Magistrate Court preliminary hearing, Teter testified he later obtained a confession, recorded on Teter's DPS Cruiser car camera, from Staton who stated he entered the pharmacy, displayed a knife and demanded "all" the Adderall and Oxycotin pills from the pharmacy staff. Staton said the staff screamed and went to the rear of the business, at which time he fled the scene without any of the items he demanded.
A video surveillance tape obtained from the place of the crime showed the accused wearing the clothes he had on when Teter stopped the dark blue Dodge Ram truck.
Photos from that video tape, displayed in the court record, show Staton wearing a blue toboggan cap decorated with a white stripe, a greenish brown cotton jacket, blue jeans and white/gray tennis shoes. In the photos he appears to be brandishing a knife in his left hand.
Appointed as Staton's attorney, Jonie E. Nelson asked for a reduction in the $25,000 cash only bond. Magistrate Hinkle denied the reduction. Staton was returned to the Potomac Highlands Regional jail in Augusta, Hampshire County, until his bail is posted.
Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Sponaugle is representing the state. Staton is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court at 9 a.m. July 8.