The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

September 20, 2013

Convicted killer indicted for robbery

FARRELL — Joshua L. Stewart, the man convicted Tuesday of murdering William “Bill” Basilone, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for participating in the Dec. 20, 2011, robbery and shooting at B&M Market in Farrell.

Stewart’s alleged accomplice in the Basilone murder – Devine A. Campbell – was charged 13 months ago by Southwest Mercer County Regional police with shooting B&M owner Basil Ramahi during the robbery. His charges in the Basilone and B&M cases are pending in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

The indictment charges Stewart, 20, formerly of Farrell, with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery under the Hobbs Act, a law enacted to allow federal jurisdiction over such cases when the incident affects interstate or foreign commerce. However, courts have ruled that the effect on commerce can be minimal to support a Hobbs Act prosecution, according to the U.S. Department of Justice website.

The Hobbs Act often is used in prosecuting public and labor union corruption, commercial disputes, organized crime, gang activity or wide-ranging schemes, the DOJ said.

Stewart also was charged with using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.

At Campbell’s preliminary hearing on the B&M case in April, Ramahi testified he was in the store alone at about 7:15 p.m. Dec. 20, 2011, at 644 Wallis Avenue, when two men with their faces covered entered the store, one of them holding a gun.

“They shot two bullets” into the air,” he said. “I raised my hands.”

The gunman came up beside him and Ramahi recognized him as Campbell, although he did not know his name at the time.

“He is a customer,” Ramahi said. “He came in all the time.”

Ramahi went to the cash register to get money and handed over about $200 to Campbell.

“He shot me in the hip,” Ramahi said of Campbell.

The other man, presumably Stewart, grabbed cigarettes from behind the counter, Ramahi said.

Ramahi was adamant that Campbell was the shooter, but testified that he did not recognize Stewart as the other man.

Police said .22-caliber shell casings recovered at the scene were fired by the same gun that was used to kill Basilone.

The penalties for robbery and conspiracy are up to 20 years each, and the gun charge carries a sentence of 10 years to life with the stipulation that the sentence be served consecutive to the other counts.

Stewart is facing a life sentence for the Basilone murder and was sentenced in August to 10 to 20 years for the armed robbery of a man Dec. 29, 2011, in Sharon.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • CIRT team in Jackson Center Man arrested after shooting standoff

    One Jackson Center man is recovering from a bullet wound, and the borough resident accused of shooting him sits in jail after a long night of drinking that state police say turned into a case of attempted homicide.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Speedway location City on track for new Speedway store

    Speedway is lining up its administrative and bureaucratic cones on plans for the gas station and convenience store chain to zoom into downtown Sharon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Guards, county OK deal

    County officials and guards at the Mercer County Jail have reached a tentative contract agreement that, if approved, halts the idea of privatizing operations at the facility.

    July 31, 2014

  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo