WELLSBURG - A Wellsburg man has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree robbery in connection with a home invasion case on Hooverson Heights in May 2011.
Aaron M. Hartley, 21, of Wellsburg submitted the pleas Wednesday before 1st Judicial Circuit Court Judge Ronald Wilson after a plea agreement was submitted by Hartley's attorney, Patricia Kurelac; and Brooke County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Barki III.
Wilson called for a sentence hearing at noon Nov. 9. Hartley faces one to 15 years in jail for each count of first-degree robbery.
Barki said Hartley knocked on the door of an Elaine Avenue home, initially claiming his vehicle had broken down before demanding money from an elderly woman there while bearing a gun and pushed her down.
When the woman's husband approached Hartley, he again demanded money and struck him in the head with the gun, causing him to fall to the floor, the prosecutor said.
Barki said a witness saw Hartley in the vicinity removing a black, hooded sweatshirt he'd used to conceal his identity. He said a DNA sample taken from the shirt matched Hartley's.
He added a person known to Hartley told police she was present when he disposed of the weapon.
Barki said another person initially was considered a suspect in the case, which was investigated by the Brooke County Sheriff's Department.
Hartley was arrested following his indictment by a Brooke County grand jury in November.
At the hearing Wilson voiced concerns about whether Hartley may be charged with two counts of robbery for the same incident, though two victims were involved.
Charges of burglary and assault during the commission of a felony, for which Hartley also was indicted, have been dropped as part of the plea agreement.
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