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Mother faces multiple charges

By Staff | Jul 1, 2020

MUNCY-The mother of an armed robbery suspect has herself been charged with robbery for allegedly acting as her son’s getaway driver.

Lori A. McHenry, 52, admitted to driving her son Steven J. Martin, 28, to Sam’s Place Lottery & Tobacco, 1374 E. Penn St, Muncy, where he allegedly robbed a cashier at gunpoint on March 18.

In charges filed Tuesday June 16, Montoursville State Trooper James Nestico said McHenry admitted to knowing her son planned to commit robbery.

The two reside at 317 Carpenter Street, Muncy.

“She said that Martin had a bag with him full of items to wear during it [the robbery],” Nestico wrote.

Prior to the robbery, McHenry allegedly dropped her son off on State Route 442 near Fogelman Road.

“Martin got out, grabbed his bag, and changed clothes,” Nestico wrote. Martin tells McHenry that he held up Sam’s Place and got money,” Nestico noted. McHenry then circled back to pick up Martin after the robbery.

Cell phone GPS data shows their phones were within the area of the crime scene on the date and time of the robbery, according to the affidavit.

The day prior to the robbery, McHenry’s vehicle, a Lincoln Town Car, allegedly was seen canvassing the area on surveillance footage from Hull’s Landing and Dunkin Donuts.

Employees at a nearby Taco Bell reported the day after the robbery they recognized Martin from store surveillance images because he had worn similar clothing when he had worked there, police said.

After learning the suspect’s name, police said they obtained surveillance video from the house across Carpenter Street from where Martin and his mother live.

It showed a Lincoln Town Car leaving the residence at 9:41 p.m. the day of the robbery and returning at 11:14 p.m., they said.

Video from businesses in the plaza in which Sam’s Place is located showed the same car arriving just before the robbery, they said.

Martin and his mother admitted in an interview they had driven to the plaza but claimed they went to a Dunkin’ Donuts and continued on to Millville, they said.

The vehicle is visible in a Dunkin’ Donuts fuel pump camera but not at the drive-up or at the business in Millville, police said.

Video obtained from a nearby Weis store showed Martin, wearing shoes and sweatpants similar to the robber’s, in the store with his mother at 3:35 p.m. that day, they said.

Police said that evidence was found hidden in the family’s basement wall: grey sweatpants, a blue PSU hoodie, Scott goggles, a camouflage face mask, beanie hat, gray sneakers, a black glove and a red draw-string bag.

“These items matched the items observed on surveillance video from Sam’s Place that were used in the robbery,” Nestico wrote.

According to the affidavit, Martin’s mother said her son hid the items in the basement wall on the night of March 24 after police came to the house earlier that day.

“She heard a noise in the basement and when she looked down, Martin was shoving items into a hole in the wall at the base of the steps. He then used screws and a piece of wood to cover the hole,” Nestico wrote.

McHenry is accused of conspiring to provide false information about Martin’s whereabouts, and faces charges with one third degree felony count each of conspiracy robbery and conspiracy theft by unlawful taking.

In a related incident, McHenry was incarcerated after she was found to be involved in the selling of pills during the original investigation of her son.

Court records allege that McHenry was in the parking lot of the Muncy Hospital when it was believed that she had made three “hand-to-hand drug transactions” on April 13.

During the previous investigation involving Martin, officers had phone records from McHenry which contained messages regarding the sale of Percocet. An undercover officer or confidential informant bought pills from McHenry for the case that

were later identified as “over-the-counter pain relief” medication and not the alleged Percocets, according to court records.

McHenry was jailed on $50,000 bail by Magisterial District Judge Jon E. Kemp on June 17. She was charged with the controlled substance, drug, device and cosmetic act, criminal use of communication facility, theft by deception, registration, and certificate of title required, driving while operating privileges suspended or revoked.