Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 19, 2012

Mercer County man charged in two armed robbery cases heads toward plea agreement

PRINCETON —

A Mercer County man who was arrested last March after the armed robberies of a Bluewell bank and a convenience store is now heading toward a plea agreement in Mercer County Circuit Court.

Michael W. Pennington, 35, of Brushfork was arrested March 23 after an armed robbery at the New People’s Bank of Bluewell along U.S. Route 52. Pennington was later charged with the March 20 armed robbery of the Cargo Station, also along Route 52, near the bank. He was charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of grand larceny.

Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said Tuesday that a plea agreement had been reached “in principle,” but a plea hearing date had not yet been scheduled.

“We have the core agreement,” Ash said.

However, Ash stated that it was too soon to name the charges that will be part of the plea agreement. Pennington’s trial was scheduled for Sept. 26.

Penalties for armed robbery range from 10 to 20 years in prison, and one to 10 years in prison for grand larceny.

Investigators said when Pennington was arrested that a toy gun that resembled an MP-5 submachine gun had been used during the bank robbery, and a toy that looked like a large-caliber handgun was displayed at the Cargo Station robbery.

Employees at the Cargo Station recognized Pennington as he was going into the New People’s Bank the day it was robbed, Sheriff Don Meadows said Tuesday.

Pennington is currently incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver in lieu of a $100,000 bond. Judge Omar Aboulhosn denied a motion to reduce this bond soon after Pennington’s arrest.�

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