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Prosecutor sets aside robbery charge—for now

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A man who was accused of trying to rob a man at gunpoint last year was released from jail after the charges against him were dropped Tuesday.

Paul Allen Marshall, 22, of King George County had been charged with attempted robbery and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

He had been in jail since Oct. 8, but was released Tuesday after the charges were dropped in Fredericksburg Circuit Court.

But Marshall’s legal troubles may not be over. Commonwealth’s Attorney LaBravia Jenkins said she plans to reinstate the charges once certain DNA evidence is received from the state lab.

According to police and evidence heard at an earlier hearing, a 56-year-old man who was in Fredericksburg on business was in the parking lot of the Quality Inn at 2310 Plank Road late Oct. 8 when he noticed three men walk by.

Moments later, one of those man came up behind him wearing a mask and pointing two handguns at him. The gunman ordered the victim to be still, but the victim instead ran into the motel lobby.

Motel employees locked the door and called police, and about 10 minutes later Deputy Billy Reyes found three men behind the nearby BP station just across Altoona Drive. The victim was brought to the scene and identified them as the men he’d just seen.

All three were arrested, but the charges against two of them were dropped at a preliminary hearing.

Among the items found in the car they were riding in were a ski mask and a stolen gun, police said. The mask has been sent to the lab for DNA testing.

Marshall was scheduled for a trial Tuesday, but Jenkins asked for a continuance because the DNA evidence hadn’t come back.

Defense attorney Tim Barbrow objected to the continuance, pointing out that his client had already spent five months in jail.

Barbrow also asked Judge Gordon Willis to dismiss the case altogether, but the judge’s “nolle prosequi” ruling left the door open for Jenkins to bring back the charges.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

 

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