The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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August 18, 2012

Teen charged in 2 more robberies

FARRELL — Devine A. Campbell, the alleged accomplice to Joshua A. Stewart in the Dec. 30 shooting death of William “Bill” Basilone Jr., has been charged with shooting a Farrell market owner during a robbery Dec. 20 and helping Stewart rob a Farrell bar on Dec. 28.

Southwest Mercer County Regional police on Wednesday charged Campbell, 17, with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in the Dec. 28 incident and aggravated assault, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in the shooting case.

Stewart, 19, faces charges of robbery and conspiracy in the Dec. 20 robbery at the Wild Game Inn, 1101 Roemer Blvd., Farrell.

At a February preliminary hearing for Stewart, bar patron Ross Carlo said he had not been at the bar very long when two men came in the door with their heads and faces covered. One man stood at the door – police now say Campbell was that man – and the other – police believe it was Stewart – pointed a handgun at him and demanded money, Carlo said.

Carlo walked to his wallet and got out $43, which he tossed at the gunman. The gunman turned to the barmaid and demanded money from her, Carlo said. She handed him $30, police said.

The gunman picked Carlo’s money off the floor and both men left, Carlo said.

Southwest Cpl. Charles Rubano testified about following and photographing two trails made by two sets of footprints in the snow at the bar.

One set was from a pair of tennis shoes and the other from a pair of boots.

Rubano picked up one trail across Roemer from the Wild Game Inn and followed it to Beechwood Avenue. The second trail he picked up behind the bar and followed to about 30 feet from Stewart’s home, where he lost it in hundreds of prints on a sidewalk.

Southwest detective Kevin Wherry said he compared the tennis shoe prints with a pair of Nike shoes found in the kitchen of the apartment Stewart shared with his mother and concluded they have similar tread patterns.

Police used Facebook postings between Campbell and Stewart to connect Campbell to the Wild Game Inn robbery. In postings, Campbell says he is putting on sweats “cuz i, tryn do ‘dat s---’” and asks, “where u at?”

Stewart replies, “at swaves nd wat u talkin bout?”

Campbell responds, “7up..after5.”

Those postings show the pair conspiring, while the “7Up” reference is related to the Wild Game Inn sign in front of the bar, Wherry said.

In the Dec. 20 shooting of Basil Ramahi at his B&M Market, 644 Wallis Ave., Ramahi told police two men wearing face coverings entered the store with a handgun, yelled at him and demanded money. The unarmed man, who police said has not been identified, went around the counter and took $100 from Ramahi and several packs of cigarettes while Campbell held  Ramahi at gunpoint, police said.

The unidentified man ran out of the store, police said. Campbell told Ramahi not to move, then fired three times, hitting him once in the hip, police said.

Three shell casings recovered from the store had similar markings with nine casings found at the Basilone murder scene, police said. State police tested the casings to see if they were fired from the same weapon, and tests showed a match, police said.

Ramahi viewed an eight-man photographic array and identified Campbell as the person who shot him, police said.

Campbell was arraigned Friday by District Judge Ronald E. Antos, Farrell, who recommitted Campbell to Mercer County Jail. Antos set a preliminary hearing for 12:45 p.m. Aug. 28.


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