Teen Suspect in Wexford BP Robbery, Other Holdups Had Just Posted Bail

Court records show Matthew McDonald, 19, was released from jail after posting bond in October. He is awaiting trial for an April case in which he is charged with simple assault and harassment in Washington County.

The Washington County man charged with robbing the BP gas station and convenience store at T-Bones plaza in Wexford and a Chartiers Township gas station Nov. 13 was free on bond at the time of the robberies, according to court documents.

Matthew Clark McDonald, 19, now is back in the Washington County Jail, unable to post $100,000 bond. He is one of four men named Tuesday as suspects in the BP holdup and in holdups in other communities around Allegheny and Washington counties.

"These individuals are also involved in robberies in Washington, Chartiers Township, Upper St. Clair and Castle Shannon," Northern Regional Police Chief T. Robert Amann said.

McDonald posted bond in October while awaiting trial in an April case in which he is charged with simple assault and harassment in Blaine Township, Washington County.

Washington County Magisterial District Judge Ethan Ward ordered him to stand trial after a preliminary hearing June 12, but Washington County President Judge Debbie O'Dell Seneca later issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

O'Dell Seneca canceled the warrant Sept. 28 and set a $10,000 percentage bond, requiring that McDonald post 10 percent of that amount to be released from jail. A private bond firm posted that amount on his behalf Oct. 3, court documents show.

McDonald also was due in court Oct. 30 for a preliminary hearing on simple assault and harassment charges filed by Washington City Police in a June 26 incident, but that hearing was cancelled, according to court records. Details of that case were not available from online court records.

Robbery Charges

McDonald now faces six felony charges filed by Northern Regional Police and Chartiers Township Police in connection with the robberies earlier this month.

In the Northern Regional case, McDonald is charged with robbery and conspiracy as well as a misdemeanor count of theft in the armed robbery of the BP gas station and convenience store on Route 910 near the Interstate 79 ramps in Marshall Township.

A preliminary hearing in that case has not been scheduled.

In Washington County, Chartiers Township Police charged McDonald with two felony counts each of robbery and conspiracy. He also faces two misdemeanor counts—simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

He is charged with robbing a Chartiers Township gas station—Kwik Fill at 2230 W. Pike St.—at 9:15 a.m. Nov. 13 at gunpoint and taking cash, an energy drink and potato chips, according to the Observer-Reporter newspaper.

A preliminary hearing on those charges is set for Dec. 12 before Magisterial District Judge David W. Mark in Canonsburg.

Chartiers Township police and state police also are investigating to determine if the Kwik Fill robbery is connected with a holdup about two hours earlier that morning at a Subway restaurant on Route 519 in Somerset Township, according to the Observer-Reporter.

McDonald Charged Previously

Prosecutors on Tuesday withdrew charges filed against McDonald by state police for a July 13 incident in Somerset Township. Those charges included robbery, conspiracy, theft, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person; it was not clear why those charges were withdrawn.

Three Other Men Charged

Three other men charged with conspiracy in the BP robbery on Nov. 13—Charles Clark, 21; David Piatt, 21; and Travis Hallam, 19—also face charges from a robbery in Somerset Township on the same day.

Pennsylvania State Police in Washington filed 12 charges on each man Tuesday.

Hallam and Clark are charged with two felony counts of robbery and two felony counts of conspiracy.

For Piatt, the charges include one felony count of robbery and three felony counts of conspiracy.

All three are charged with misdemeanor counts of theft, receiving stolen property, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and conspiracy.

Other Cases Pending Against Clark, Hallam

Clark and Hallam also have other cases pending in the court system.

Pittsburgh Police Department charged Clark with DUI and with not stopping after an accident involving damage to an unattended vehicle for an Oct. 7 incident. His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 4.

Hallam is charged him with theft in a Sept. 16 case in Buffalo Township, Washington County. He did not show up Tuesday for a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Ethan T. Ward.

Upper St. Clair Patch Editor Becky Brindle contributed to this article.

To see an earlier story,

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leathashrader November 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM
its a shame that these teens couldnt have gotten help before it led to robery we need a scared straight program for these teens if we had something for them to do other than run the streets and do drugs then maybe it would not of even happen the way it did .
Mary November 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM
these "teens" aren't kids.....nor are they teens. They are 19 and 21 year old adult men who if they wanted to could get a job and work for their money instead of robbery. A scared straight program wouldn't have helped them at all! If they are running in the streets and doing drugs this is their choice and all the intervention in the world wouldn't change a thing! Why do people always thing that a "program" is needed to change people. What is needed is personal responsibility and accountability! These young men now are facing consequences for their actions!


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