Man charged in Marion Heights theft wasn't brought to trial in 180 days, was released from jail
SUNBURY - A Mount Carmel man charged in a strong-arm robbery of a Marion Heights woman in October was released from Northumberland County Prison last month on nominal bail because he wasn't brought to trial within 180 days of his incarceration.
Robert Warren Powers, 27, who has been incarcerated since October, was set free June 20 after posting $1 bail before Judge Charles Saylor. He is scheduled to appear for a pre-trial conference Sept. 6.
Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini said several continuances were granted in the case that allowed Powers to be released after serving 180 days in prison. He said Powers was scheduled to go to trial this month, but was granted a continuance to secure a new attorney. He is now represented by county conflicts counselor Sue Schwartz.
Powers will not go to trial until at least the next term of criminal court in October.
Although he is free, Rosini said Powers remains under supervised bail conditions that prohibit him from leaving the state and having contact with the victim or any witnesses in the case. A parole officer is assigned to monitor Powers' whereabouts and actions.
A defendant who is incarcerated must go to trial within 180 days following his incarceration unless the defense seeks continuances in the case, which extends the 180-day period. A defendant who is free on bail must go to trial within 365 days unless the defense seeks continuances in the case, which extends the 365-day period.
Robbed on porch
Powers and 24-year-old Vanessa Ann Steigerwalt of Mount Carmel were charged by Mount Carmel Township police in connection with an Oct. 9 robbery of 53-year-old Lisa Beury. Police said Powers robbed Beury on her front porch at 6:30 p.m. after she cashed a $500 Lottery ticket at Boyer's Food Market in Mount Carmel Township. Beury was allegedly knocked to the ground by Powers during the robbery and had her purse stolen.
Following the robbery, Powers fled and entered a vehicle operated by Steigerwalt, police said.
Police reported Powers discarded Beury's purse. Police said Powers stole only $50 and failed to notice that the remainder of the money from the Lottery ticket was contained in a side pocket of the purse.
Police said Steigerwalt was taken into custody at Boyer's Food Market, where she was employed. She moved to Mount Carmel in January 2012 from Sellersville in Bucks County.
Powers, who is from Camden, N.J., was apprehended in the 200 block of East Seventh Street, about a block away from his home.
Steigerwalt, who agreed to testify against Powers, was sentenced by President Judge Robert B. Sacavage on Feb. 25 to 9 to 23 months in Northumberland County Prison on four criminal charges. She was given credit for 133 days previously served in prison.
The defendant, who pleaded guilty in December to criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, criminal conspiracy to commit flight to avoid apprehension, criminal conspiracy to commit theft and false reports, also was given 2 years consecutive probation and ordered to pay $450 in fines and an assortment of costs and fees. She was required to make $472.56 in restitution and avoid contact with Beury and Powers. She also was prohibited from going to bars.