Men Charged in Robbery of BP in Wexford to Stand Trial
Cases against Matthew McDonald, Travis Hallam and David Piatt advance to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Cases against three men charged in the November robbery of the BP convenience store and gas station in Wexford advanced Wednesday to the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Following a preliminary hearing, Magisterial District Judge William K. Wagner ordered Matthew McDonald, who is charged with being the gunman during the holdup, to stand trial.
Co-defendants Travis Hallam, 19, and David Piatt, 21, waived their cases. Both Washington, PA, men are charged with criminal conspiracy.
McDonald is charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy and theft.
The BP is located along Route 910 in Marshall Township in the T-Bones shopping plaza near the I-79 interchange.
Formal arraignments are set for Feb. 20.
A fourth man charged in the case—Charles Clark Jr.—waived his hearing in December.
The men also are charged in robberies in Somerset and Chartiers townships in Washington County on the same day.
BP clerk Terry Shidemantle testified during the preliminary hearing that McDonald came to the store counter with two items.
"He pulled out a gun," she said, and in a low voice told her, "Be quiet. Empty the drawer."
She said she emptied the drawer of about $227 and gave it to him.
McDonald then ran across Route 910 to Soergel's Orchards, where a car driven by Clark was parked, according to court documents. Piatt and Hallam were passengers in the car, the criminal complaint states.
Northern Regional Police Officer Scott Rick testified that police checked video surveillance and got fingerprints off the protein bar that was placed on the checkout counter, along with a bag of nuts.
The prints matched those of McDonald, Rick said.
Police also received a lead called in on co-defendant Clark, who admitted his part in the robbery, Rick testified.
Clark and McDonald went into the BP before the robbery and Clark bought cigarettes and a drink, court documents state.
Rick testified that McDonald described "tunnel vision" when the register drawer opened and he saw a large amount of money and wanted it.
The officer said McDonald admitted to robberies in Allegheny and Washington counties, as well as Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.
Rick testified that, in addition to the Marshall Township robbery, McDonald admitted to robberies in Upper St. Clair and Castle Shannon.
McDonald did not testify.
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