Man heads to prison in robbery of woman's purse in Marion Heights
SUNBURY - A Mount Carmel man was sentenced to state prison after pleading guilty to assaulting a Marion Heights woman on her front porch and robbing her of her purse.
Robert Warren Powers, 28, formerly of Camden, N.J., will serve between 33 months and six years, according to the Northumberland County Prothonotary's office. He was credited for 248 days served.
He must also pay $1,400 in fines plus court costs and will be placed on parole for the balance of his prison sentence if released early. Restitution of $472.56 is to be split between he and a codefendant.
Powers was sentenced Nov. 25 by Judge William H. Wiest after pleading guilty on Oct. 4 to robbery, conspiracy-flight to avoid apprehension, conspiracy-theft and conspiracy-simple assault, according to online court records.
William C. Cole, assistant district attorney, said the maximum sentence for the robbery and conspiracy-flight charges, both third-degree felonies, is seven years each.
Police say Lisa Beury, 53 at the time, had just cashed a $500 lottery ticket when Powers robbed her on her front porch at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9, 2012. He made off with her purse and jumped into a car driven by Vanessa Ann Steigerwalt, 24, of Mount Carmel. He found just $50 in cash inside, missing the remaining prize money tucked in a side pocket before ditching the purse.
Steigerwalt was taken into custody while working at Boyer's Food Market, Mount Carmel, the same place where Beury cashed the lottery ticket. Police picked up Powers in the 200 block of East Seventh Street, about a block away from his home.
Powers made headlines in July when he walked out of Northumberland County Prison, Sunbury, on $1 bail after not being brought to trial after serving 180 days. Bail had been set at $150,000 cash at the time of his arrest. He was remanded back to county prison on Nov. 14 and his bail set at $25,000 cash following an arrest in an unrelated case, the charges for which were later withdrawn after the alleged victim refused to testify.
Powers had been sentenced in 2010 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to burglary in New Jersey.
Steigerwalt cooperated with authorities. She pleaded guilty to four counts - conspiracy-robbery, conspiracy-flight to avoid apprehension, conspiracy-theft and false reports. She was sentenced in February to serve between nine and 23 months in Northumberland County Prison, Sunbury, and had been given credit for 133 days served. She also was ordered to serve two years probation, pay $450 in fines and court costs along with the aforementioned restitution.